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Alcoa donation to enhance healthcare programs at VC Calhoun County Center

By Victoria Advocate
Nov. 2, 2013 at 6:02 a.m.

Alcoa personnel pictured with Victoria College President Tom Butler in the Alcoa Foundation donation are, front row from left, Denise Garza, Laurel Cahill, Butler, Barry Smith and Richard Ratliff. Back row, from left:  Jim Schon, Roger Gibson, Helen Gadsden-Ross, Nolan Wadland, Kevin Riggs, Juan Salcines, David Cano and Andy Spears.

The Victoria College Foundation recently received $30,000 from Alcoa Foundation.

The donation is being used to fund a two-part educational project in Calhoun County and the Crossroads region.

The project includes two initiatives. First, the Victoria College TexPREP initiative will continue to provide a challenging academic enrichment opportunity for middle and high school students. It is designed to motivate and prepare them for success in advanced studies leading to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, said Melissa Robinson, VC's Pre-College Programs and Recruitment director.

The VC TexPREP initiative provides a mathematics-based curriculum with emphasis on the development of abstract reasoning, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The $25,000 Alcoa Foundation donation will assist with:• Enhancing the program curriculum and instruction;

• Purchasing additional student and instructor supplies;

Providing program assistants and instructors.

Secondly, $5,000 will be used for new equipment for the Calhoun County Center's programs and classes leading to health careers. This will improve the quality and capacity to offer high-demand continuing education programs, such as nurse's aide, medical assisting and phlebotomy, in the Calhoun County area, said Sherre Clegg, VC Calhoun County Center manager.

"VC's Calhoun County Center is all about partnerships," Clegg said. "The unique partnership with Calhoun County ISD provides the facility in Calhoun. We are so fortunate that our local industry partners, such as Alcoa, provide so much to support our programs and student success. It's a win for everyone because it provides our local area with trained, employable people in a variety of areas."

The VC Calhoun County Center enrolls about 150 students per year in these health-related programs. The goal of this project is to ensure that VC's capacity to offer high-quality, industry-specific education and training is enhanced to meet the growing needs of the Calhoun County area.

"Alcoa Foundation is pleased to support programs at Victoria College to help students gain the skills they need to succeed in life and in their careers," said Ben Kahrs, location manager at Alcoa Point Comfort Operations. "We want to ensure that the students and faculty have the facilities and equipment necessary for their workforce training courses."

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