VC warehouse to be used for Caterpillar training
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The warehouse Victoria College will purchase at 1404 N. Liberty St. will primarily house training for employees hired to work at the new Caterpillar hydraulic excavator manufacturing facility in Victoria.
It may also be used in the future for other specialized skills training.
The college board approved the purchase the 7,200 square-foot building for $200,000.
In addition to logistics training where Caterpillar employees will learn to work in a mock-warehouse setup using forklifts, the space will also house training facilities for welding, assembly and machining.
Representatives from VC and Caterpillar have been working together for months to coordinate details regarding training for the new Caterpillar employees.
"We've visited other colleges in communities where Caterpillar is located to determine what type of training and facilities would be needed," said Jennifer Yancey, VC's vice president of college advancement and external affairs.
When VC began looking for the appropriate space to use for this specialized training, square footage was an important requirement, said Larry Garrett, VC's executive director of institutional planning and special projects.
"We knew that in order to meet the immediate training needs of Caterpillar, we needed somewhere around 10,000 square feet that could have a flexible configuration," Garrett said. "This building is one large open space that we can set up any way we want to, and it requires only minimal renovation."
Garrett also said that a portable building may also be brought to the property to use as classroom space.
VC administrators anticipate that the building will be ready for use sometime in April after refurbishing restrooms, upgrading the building's electrical power and setting up equipment.
In the meantime, logistics training for the first round of new Caterpillar employees will begin this week and will be held at the VC campus and at the Caterpillar facility.
This training is only being offered to Caterpillar employees.
"At some point, we will be developing courses for individuals who want to work in the manufacturing industry," said Sherri Pall, director of workforce and continuing education at VC.