Elected officials, industry partners, and College leaders gather to celebrate 111,000-square-foot facility
Elected officials, San Jacinto College leaders, and industry partners gathered on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016 to break ground on a state-of-the-art Center for Industrial Technology (CIT), which will enable the College to keep pace with the rising demand for technical workforce training.
The projected completion date for the 111,000-square-feet center, located on the San Jacinto College North Campus, is October 2016.
San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer welcomed guests to the groundbreaking ceremony. “There is a critical need for this new facility to provide training for businesses and industries in the rapidly growing North Channel area,” she commented. “Student enrollment at the North Campus is increasing and we need facilities to accommodate that growth. Many of the technical training labs at the North Campus are advanced in age and our students need upgraded labs and hands-on experience. Also, existing technical program facilities are not large enough to keep pace with growing enrollment.”
Technical programs that will be housed in the College’s new CIT include welding technology, pipefitting fabrication, diesel technology, logistics, electrical technology, and heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR). Other non-credit Continuing and Professional Development technical courses will also be housed at the new technology center, such as sheet metal, machining, and millwright training.
“We are proud to work with San Jacinto College and value the investment they are making in our students and community,” said U.S. Rep. Gene Green (Texas-29), who attended the ceremony. “The 29th District is home to some of the most expansive chemical plants, refineries, and companies in the world, requiring a skilled workforce. Programs like these offered at CIT will help these businesses grow and meet their labor demands, stimulate our economy, and most importantly, prepare our students, right here at home, to qualify for these high-paying jobs.”
Guest speaker Mike Mathis, who was involved in designing the new CIT, said he was glad that San Jacinto College is preparing for a better future.
“My dad attended San Jacinto College, I attended San Jacinto College, and once worked as a teacher at the College,” commented Mathis, project manager for A&W Mechanical Services. “My daughter is taking courses at San Jacinto College as a dual credit student high school student. So, San Jacinto College is very much a family tradition with us. It’s good to see the College provide facilities for advanced technical training. It will be a benefit for the community because graduates will be able to qualify for good jobs and can better provide for themselves and their families.”
Dr. Kerry Keith Mix, North Campus dean of technology and business, says the new CIT will provide the necessary space, as well as up-to-date infrastructure so that San Jacinto College can keep pace as workforce training needs continue to escalate. Mix believes up-to-date facilities and infrastructure at the new center will also enable the College to better provide what he calls cross-collaborative, or cross-discipline training.
“The Center for Industrial Technology will contain programs that reflect the commercial and industrial needs of the Houston area,” Mix commented. “The center will not influence our program-level outcomes, but will allow for flexibility in instructional design. The faculty can create integrated learning opportunities across disciplines. This will strengthen and enrich course content, while providing a foundation for cross-discipline teamwork.”
Through such cross-discipline training, students will be able to train in many commercial and industrial careers, and learn how each link together on job sites. “The CIT provides a co-located instructional environment which can allow faculty to integrate learning experiences through common projects, shared resources, and the like,” Mix explained. “The facility will contain computer-mediated instructional areas to help students understand concepts through simulation. As more technical fields become software and electronic system dependent, we are teaching the necessary skills that are vital to the technicians of the future. This improves students’ marketability to have a well-rounded technical education.”
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.