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The Lemhi Education Project (LEP) was established in 2011 by concerned citizens wanting to create local educational opportunities. A report on what progress has been made was delivered to the Salmon City Councilís May 7 meeting by the projectís director, Tiffany McAllister.

She said the main objectives of the project include connecting people to on-line educational programs, assisting with paperwork including financial aid applications and performing skills assessments. LEP also provides a local testing center. Since January McAllister has proctored 57 exams including the Compass test for community college applicants. The projectís web site has been updated with easy links to on-line degree and certification information.

An important part of the LEP is educating the public about its existence and educational connections. A local awareness campaign is under way by way of public service announcements on KSRA, a bulletin board at the high school and many presentations to businesses and service organizations. Some of her presentations to young people focus on dual credit classes that are available for students as well as college career choices. She said the fact LEP is a year around project is important for summer school students.

One of last yearís goals was to create a beginners class for welding. That was accomplished and eight students were enrolled. McAllister said there were some successes but it was soon learned that the facility being used required major, costly upgrades in order to accommodate the infrastructure needed to support the equipment. The program is now on hold. The College of Southern Idaho has a mobile classroom for welding instruction that can serve up to ten students. Preliminary discussions are underway about bringing it to Salmon.

It has been learned there is a local need for refresher courses in high school math, science and language arts in order to be prepared for college level classes. McAllister is working on ways to bridge those educational gaps. She said there is no definite word as yet however; the possibility of local GED (General Equivalency Diploma) testing does exist. McAllister said that at last the fruits of all the past labors are beginning to be seen and that crucial relationships have been created on state and local levels with people who have the power to help the LEP.

There is an ongoing effort to secure grants for the purpose of improving equipment and technology as well as tutoring and mentoring services and to help cover LEPís operating expenses. A fund raising event is being planned for August.

Classes on Phlebotomy (drawing blood for clinical testing) have been held here and more are scheduled for this August. An instructor from the College of Southern Idaho will be offering a week long training in beginning computer skills and credits for the class will be accorded.

McAllister said that during this Spring semester the LEP regularly assisted 19 students in on-line degree programs through eight different colleges.

She said the LEP Committee is energized and motivated and knows there is still a lot of work to be done. McAllister said, ďI feel very strongly and sincerely that our organization is directly benefitting the people of Salmon and their families.Ē

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