Ground broken for Victoria College's Emerging Technology Center

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

July 30, 2013 at 2:30 a.m.
Updated July 31, 2013 at 2:31 a.m.

Pale, brown dirt whipped into the air as Victoria College trustees sunk their golden shovels into the earth.

Spectators filled a white tent for the groundbreaking ceremony for VC's new Emerging Technology Center.

"This center will be a powerful engine for growth and development in this area," said Tom Butler, VC president.

Last spring, Victoria County voters approved a $22 million bond for the construction of the Emerging Technology Center to meet growing industry demands for technically trained employees.

The college plans to build the 112,000-square-foot center, which is designed to have instructional rooms and corporate meeting areas.

The college hopes to generate a pool of employees to fill positions as industrial systems mechanics, machinists, oil and gas technicians, and logistics and operations management.

To supply the technical training center with equipment and instructional materials, the M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation provided a $1.9 million grant, and Invista donated an additional $30,000.

Carole Kolle, center director for Workforce Solutions, said her agency is eagerly anticipating the center's 2015 spring completion date.

Jobs for process technicians, oil-field positions - including roustabouts - truck drivers and construction recently have been in high demand in the Crossroads, Kolle said.

"We're always looking for ways to enhance skills," Kolle said, guarding her eyes from the dirt-laden wind. "It's great knowing this will be here for everyone."



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