Alamo Colleges' Grand Opening of Workforce Center of Excellence
The Alamo Colleges showcased the future of workforce training at the grand opening of its new Workforce Center of Excellence today. District 5 Councilman David Medina joined Alamo Colleges’ Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie; Board of Trustees Chair James Rindfuss;Wayne Alexander, board chair of Port San Antonio; and local business leaders to cut the ribbon at the state-of-the-art facility, located at 203 Norton Street near Port San Antonio.
The new center makes extensive use of the latest technology for teaching and learning. It features technology-enhanced classrooms, a conference center with seven 70-inch LCD screens, six computer labs, each with 24 workstations, lifesized videoconferencing capability, polyvision interactive whiteboards and monopad, giant touch-screen tablets for presentations and videoconferencing.
“This center will serve as a regional education and workforce training center for workforce innovation that creates high skill/high wage career pathways for area high school and Alamo Colleges' students,” said Leslie. “It also allows us to deliver world-class training and professional development courses and workshops for currently employed workers and to conduct activities that promote economic prosperity in the Alamo region,” he added.
“This facility will benefit the residents and industries of the Alamo Region and City of San Antonio, especially Port San Antonio tenants, by ensuring that Port San Antonio employers have access to a pool of skilled technicians to meet their expansion and retirement workforce targets,” said Alexander.
The newly renovated, 40,000-square-foot building provides space for the Alamo Colleges to expand their award-winning Alamo Academies, which train high school students for skilled jobs and earn them college credit while they are still in high school. Currently, the building provides space for the Information Technology Security Academy. The new center will also allow for the expansion of the Alamo Colleges’ other workforce training efforts, including Just-in-Time job training and the Eagle Ford Shale boot camp.
The Just-in-Time initiative provides industry-certified training programs in aerospace and manufacturing. The technology-enhanced, blended or hybrid online training is aligned to industry standards and allows students to complete training in only 12-15 weeks. Currently, students at the center are enrolled in a Just-in-Time manufacturing training program developed in collaboration with Workforce Solutions Alamo and the San Antonio Manufacturiers Association. The program has the capacity to add new cohorts every 30 days as needed by employers. A recent study noted that the manufacturing sector in San Antonio has a $22.5 billion impact on the local economy and that job training for manufacturing workers is critical to this performance.
The center also houses the Alamo Colleges’ Small Business Incubator/Mentor-Protégé program. Up to 10,000 sq/ft. of space at the new center has been designated for startup companies identified by the City of San Antonio. The incubator program will allow start-up companies access to affordable rental space and state-ofthe-art conferencing, information and communications technology, meeting rooms, and no-cost mentoring and consulting services. It will also provide temporary space for new companies to launch interim operations while permanent San Antonio facilities are established.
The new facility was made possible through an agreement approved by the Port San Antonio and Alamo Colleges’ boards of directors whereby Port San Antonio donated the building and almost 30 acres of land, next to the Port’s East Kelly Railport, to the Alamo Colleges. In return for the properties, the Alamo Colleges will provide specialized training over several years to present and future aerospace industry workers at Port San Antonio.
The Alamo Colleges have been instrumental in delivering high quality aerospace technology education to hundreds of aerospace workers at Port San Antonio for over a decade—both through degrees it confers and customized programs for Port customers, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Kelly Aviation Center and Chromalloy. Today there are 14 aerospace-related businesses at Kelly Field, Port San Antonio’s industrial airport. The firms directly employ approximately 5,000 workers and generate over $1.3 billion in regional economic activity.
At the Alamo Colleges, high quality education and low costs provide exceptional value to students and alumni who are major contributors to the economy and culture of our community.
Alamo Colleges' Trustees Gary Beitzel and Roberto Zárate, Port San Antonio Board Chair Wayne Alexander, Alamo Colleges Board Chair James Rindfuss, City Councilman David Medina, Alamo Colleges' Vice Chancellor Dr. Federico Zaragoza and Workforce Center Director Steve Duran