by Adolfo Pesquera
Victoria (Victoria County) — Victoria College recently received a $3.8 million grant from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration and plans to use the funds to support expansion of its industrial workforce training programs.
In a statement released Jan. 7, Victoria College said the grant represents 80 percent of the budget for a $4.75 million project. The college provided the local match of $950,000.
“Being awarded the Economic Development Administration grant is a really big deal for Victoria College and our ability to continue to train the workforce needed for our local economy,” said VC President David Hinds in a prepared statement.
“A trained workforce is one of the first considerations for companies considering startup, relocation or expansion in our region. VC’s Electronics Technology, Instrumentation, Process Technology and Welding Programs will all benefit as we are able to complete a very important part of our current Facilities Master Plan,” Hinds said.
The grant will go toward a three-phase expansion project of Victoria College’s industrial trades programs.
- Phase 1 will be funded by Victoria College and will include relocating the Process Technology Program from the William Wood Building to the Industrial Training Center located at VC’s Emerging Technology Complex by the fall of 2020.
- Phase 2, which will be funded by the EDA grant and matching VC funds, will include renovation of the William Wood Building.
“The renovation will allow us to increase enrollment capacity in welding and create unique spaces for each instrumentation and electronics technology lab,” said Sophia Kameitjo, VC’s grants development director. “The programs will also purchase nearly $400,000 worth of new equipment which will help align the quality of training with the skills employers expect of students who complete our programs.”
Completion of Phase 2 is targeted for the end of the 2021 calendar year.
- Phase 3, which is pending future funding, will include improving the process technology training facilities at the Emerging Technology Complex with the potential addition of an outdoor plant simulation lab.
“Victoria College’s industrial trades programs provide a trained workforce for our area industry partners,” said Betsy Crane, dean of VC’s Division of Career and Technical Education.
“This grant will enable the college to upgrade our industrial training facilities on the Main Campus and provide state-of-the art laboratory and learning classrooms for our students,” she said.
VBX is following this project on Project ID 2020-0547.
Edited from a Victoria College press release.