STAFFORD - It doesn't take a four-year degree to earn a salary above $50,000.
That's why Houston Community College (HCC) has broken ground on its $27 million, 57,000-sf workforce training facility at the HCC Southwest Stafford campus.
It is designed to provide training for high-growth, advanced manufacturing trades, including welding, pipefitting and robotics.
"The manufacturing companies that we have in Stafford and the complimentary companies, those who supply and work with them, pay salaries of $50,000 to $80,000 a year," said Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella.
The new workforce training facility will include eight classrooms, seven labs and a large "maker space" where students and community members will be able to work with advanced equipment, including 3D printers and CNC routers (computer-controlled cutting machines).
Students will also be able to move through high-tech training quickly at the new workforce development center, with most working toward industry recognized certifications or two-year associate of applied science degrees.
HCC plans to work with local employers to help the community grow and provide the skilled workforce that businesses need.
Classes aren't just for recent high school graduates. "Workforce training is for people who want to explore a new career and/or retrain for jobs that have become obsolete," said Southwest College President Fena Garza.
"It's also for veterans coming out of the military who are looking for additional training," Garza said.
The groundbreaking in Stafford is the third of 14 under the $425 million HCC Groundbreaker Bond Program, a capital improvement program involving all six of the district's campuses.
For more information, see previous story Houston Community College's $24M and $18M projects.