EMERGING TECHNOLOGY COMPLEX
From Dream to Reality
It has been a rewarding experience to serve as president of Victoria College for the last seven years. During this time, I’ve been honored to work alongside some great individuals and groups that have been instrumental in moving VC forward. The collaboration among VC’s Board of Trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, students, business and industry partners, and the community has led to many great things happening at Victoria College and in the community.
Victoria College’s brand new Emerging Technology Complex is one of the greatest examples of what we can achieve when we work together. What began as an idea of how to support the training needs of area students and employers has evolved into a state-of-the-art facility that is the only one of its kind in Texas and one of about a dozen in the entire nation.
From the initial discussions among community leaders, to site visits at similar facilities, community forums, and meetings with industry experts, the community’s input has been instrumental in the concept, design, and functionality of the facility.
We are indebted to the generous support of the community. Public and private donations have been instrumental in allowing us to construct and equip the facility with the latest technology and amenities to provide quality experiences for our students and clients.
We thank the voters of Victoria County for approving a $22 million general obligation bond in 2012 to support VC’s master plan, which included construction of the Complex. The Complex could not have been a reality without the donation of 16 acres of land by the City of Victoria and the Victoria Sales Tax Development Corporation.
We are also grateful to the M.G. & Lillie A. Johnson Foundation, which awarded a $2.5 million grant to Victoria College in 2012. The largest part of the grant, $1.98 million, helped offset equipment costs for new programs that will be housed at the Complex. Philanthropic support has also been provided by Janey and Melvin Lack, who generously contributed $200,000, the K.R. and Laura Miller Foundation, which gifted $90,000 and the Wood Family Trust, which donated $75,000. One of our long-time industry partners, INVISTA, invested $50,000, and the Cloyde and Ethel Lee Tracy Foundation generously donated $50,000 to the Complex.
The overwhelming support Victoria College has received for the Emerging Technology Complex is evidence that the community believes in VC’s strategic approach to helping prepare students for jobs in the South Texas area while meeting the training needs of regional business and industry.
The Industrial Training Center, the two-story building on the west side of the Complex, includes six high-bay training facilities with plenty of room for equipment and six associated classrooms. The building houses training for employees of the Caterpillar North American Hydraulic Excavator facility, located across the street. The Industrial Training Center is also home to VC’s newest program, the Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Program, featured in this magazine.
Operations at the three-story Conference & Education Center are also in full swing. The third floor of the Conference & Education Center includes ample space for corporate and industrial training as well as classrooms, skills labs, and computer labs.
The first two floors comprise Victoria’s only comprehensive conference facility, which offers 15 meeting spaces with comfortable, ergonomic furnishings; flexible meeting configurations; comprehensive and customizable meeting packages; and simple but flexible pricing. The large meeting hall inside the facility can accommodate banquet, conference, and auditorium-style seating for audiences of various sizes.
The Conference & Education Center has been certified by the International Association of Conference Centres, a global professional association which represents small-to-medium-sized venues focused on meetings, training courses, and conferences. We are particularly pleased with this certification as there are only 162 venues with this certification in the nation and 12 in Texas.
Events already booked at the Conference & Education Center include a two-day Victoria Economic Development Corporation meeting, a Bridges to Success educational summit, a Genetics Update Conference, several Victoria ISD professional development seminars, a Rotary Club officer installation banquet, and even a Baby Expo, just to name a few.
Once again, thank you to the community for coming together to realize a shared vision and for helping make it happen. The Emerging Technology Complex is a real jewel, one that we should all be proud of. But don’t take my word for it; come see it for yourself!
If you’re interested in reserving space for an upcoming meeting or conference, please contact Tempi McLeod at (361) 582-2442. For questions regarding corporate or industry training, you can contact Sherri Pall or Rachel Nessel at (361) 582-2528.
Dr. Tom Butler, Victoria College President