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STLCC Conducts Grand Opening of Center for Workforce Innovation
August 30, 2011
Gov. Jay Nixon joins STLCC leaders and other elected officials to cut the ribbon signifying the opening of the college's new Center for Workforce Innovation.
More than 200 guests joined STLCC representatives, elected officials, industry partners and community leaders Aug. 29 to dedicate and tour the college’s new Center for Workforce at 3344 Pershall Road.
“Fundamentally, we are here because we share a belief – that education is our common stake in the future,” said Melissa Hattman, chair of the STLCC Board of Trustees. “This state-of-the-art facility reflects our vision for the future, and strengthens our institutional commitment to access, flexibility and responsiveness to the needs of our students and the community.”
Located adjacent to the college’s Florissant Valley campus, the 32,000-square-foot CWI will serve more than 500 students annually.
“Our Center for Workforce Innovation is another place where we serve students by providing access to new opportunities, helping them down the path to be better citizens for the future of Missouri,” said Myrtle E.B. Dorsey, Ph.D., STLCC chancellor. “None of this would be possible without the ongoing support of our students, the public, our business and community partners, and our state and local legislators.”
The CWI houses some of the college’s newest and most cutting-edge workforce training programs, including several that were targeted in the Training for Tomorrow Initiative, as well as other innovative instructional spaces and a public access computing center.
One of the CWI’s centerpiece programs is the St. Louis Aerospace Institute. It began as a pre-employment program for Boeing, delivering technical instruction in aerospace structures and mechanical/electrical systems. A grant from the U.S. Department of Labor laid the groundwork to expand this program to the general aerospace industry cluster as well as establish composites material training capability. It also will include new composites fabrication and assembly labs.
As part of the Training for Tomorrow Initiative, the college has established an energy technician program that now will be located at the CWI. This program is part of STLCC’s “green” jobs strategy that includes renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable design and construction. The energy technician curriculum includes residential and commercial energy auditing, advanced building control systems with remote monitoring, aspects of commercial energy retrofits, and facilities management with a focus on energy efficiency. It also will integrate BPI and LEED certification standards.
“The establishment of the Center for Workforce Innovation is another solid step forward for this region,” said Gov. Jay Nixon. “Repurposing a building of this nature, taking the various funding sources and putting them to work, merging education with business, merging education with the trades, and putting that all together in a place that is accessible and affordable during the day and at night for students is exactly the kind of work it will take to continue to turn this economy around.”
Coursework in sustainable construction also will be offered at the CWI, also part of the Training for Tomorrow Initiative. Sustainable construction has been based upon the college’s construction management and construction technology programs, and will incorporate training related to the LEED standards.
STLCC received funding through the Missouri Department of Higher Education’s Broadband Technology Opportunities program to develop the CWI’s public access computing area. This center will have 25 stations that will be open to the public on a walk-in basis, and offer computer training classes to help prepare unemployed and underemployed workers develop skills needed for the 21st century work force.
The CWI also will offer industrial maintenance technician and programmable logic control programs to serve business and industry through customized curriculum. The CWI has general classroom space that can be expanded into a large multipurpose room, a computer classroom with 20 stations, conference room, staff offices and lounge-type area.