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Businesses use Victoria College's training spaces, services

By Victoria Advocate
May 3, 2014 at 12:03 a.m.

Bladestone instructors Brad Crotzer, Jeremy Hanson and Greg Ferguson teach oil-field workers in a classroom at Victoria College. The three said they are pleased with the space and services Victoria College makes available to the company.

As many businesses are discovering, it's not just students who attend classes at Victoria College.

Firms such as oil-field companies rent spaces at VC to hire and train their workers.

For Bladestone, a petroleum operation company in Edwards, Colo., Victoria College offers the perfect place to return to school.

The company rents classroom space in VC's Continuing Education Center, teaching pressure control systems to oil rig workers, and its instructors say they are pleased with the campus location.

"It's a good environment," said Jeremy Hanson, a Bladestone petroleum engineer. "The bulk of our training usually gets done in hotels, where it's a difficult environment. This particular training session has been with a lot of local rigs. For us, this has been a great experience."

Fellow instructor Greg Ferguson agreed, adding that "living out of the hotel and having to set up stuff, you have to deal with other workers. The campus is different because it's based on education."

The two, along with Brad Crotzer, petroleum engineer and instructor, teach a pressure control systems class to employees of BHP. Their students come from Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Hanson said that other locations where they've held training don't understand what the classroom environment should be.

"Victoria College brings these guys back into a school format," he said. "I think they take it more seriously because they are in this environment."

In addition to offering classroom space, VC also caters lunch for Bladestone students, instructors and staff, and provides technology support for the class' computer operations.

"We usually have minor technical emergencies at 5 a.m., and they are on it within an hour or so," Hanson said. "Short of being in our facility in Colorado, this is the best place we've ever trained."

VC's Events Services Coordinator Patrick McLaughlin works closely with companies that want to rent space at VC locations to make sure their needs are met.

"We do just about anything you can imagine as far as bookings and trainings," McLaughlin said. "We tailor our services around what the client needs. As long as they'll fit in our facilities and within the scope of what we offer, there's not a lot we can't do."

In working with Bladestone, he said VC made the room exclusively available to them. The company rented the room for a large period of time, even when they weren't using it.

"They said it was great to be back here and out of the hotel," McLaughlin said. "It makes us feel good to hear that. It lets us know we're doing our job well."

Other companies using VC space include Braskem America, Patterson UTI, United Shutdown Safety and Invista.

"Braskem America uses our process technology lab to train and test potential hires," McLaughlin said. "United Shutdown Safety uses VC because we can give them an environment that they have trouble finding at other places."

"During part of their training, they will bring a large simulator and park it close to where we have them situated," he continued. "We even moved them to our Liberty Street Industrial Training Center a couple of times because that works well for them."

Invista will be here a few times a year conducting interviews, and VC furnishes the company anywhere from 7-10 rooms, including a command center and interview rooms, McLaughlin said.

VC can cater lunch to clients for day-long events, or clients can furnish their own meals. Others say, "We have 40 people. Feed us. We trust you. Take care of us, and we'll pay the bill," McLaughlin said.

Other areas of campus that companies like to use include the Johnson Symposium, the Corporate Training Room in the Academic Building, the Continuing Education Center, the Liberty Center, the Allied Health Building, and the William Wood Building

"I don't think there is a building on campus that we have not utilized in some form to accommodate a client," McLaughlin said.

"We get a tremendous amount of return business, and we take great pride in that," he added.

For more information on VC spaces available for public use, contact McLaughlin at 361- 572-6475 or email Patrick.Mclaughlin@VictoriaCollege.edu.

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