San Antonio.- The future of workforce training is taking place at the Alamo Colleges. The grand opening of its new Workforce Center of Excellence uses the most extensive technology. The newly renovated, 40,000 square foot building is provided with six computer labs, videoconferencing capabilities, interactive whiteboards, and a conference center with seven 70-inch LCD screens. With so much ingenuity, Alamo Colleges has the necessary materials for maximum teaching and learning.
This facility was made possible by an agreement between Port San Antonio and the Alamo Colleges’ board of directors. Port San Antonio donated the building and almost 30 acres of land, and in return; Alamo Colleges provides specialized training over several years to present and future aerospace industry workers at Port San Antonio.
For over a decade, The Alamo Colleges have been integral in delivering quality aerospace technology education to hundreds of workers at Boeing, Chromalloy, Lockheed Martin, Kelly aviation Center and Port San Antonio. These companies employ approximately 5,000 workers and generate over $1.3 billion in regional economic activity.
“This center actually opened June 1. We’ve had classes running full steam. We’ve been running and we’re way ahead of everyone else.” Steve A Duran, Sr., director of Workforce Center of Excellence said.
The programs at the Workforce Center are each targeted to promote high skill/high wage career pathways for local high school and Alamo College students. The award winning Alamo Academies program trains high school students for skilled jobs and earn them college credit. It begins in the junior year of high school and by the time students’ graduate they’ve attained up to seven certification certificates and 30 college hours: half of the necessary hours for a degree.
“These are great kids from the academy. All the work you see at this place, they basically did here. They’re excellent students. Like no other. I’m very proud of all these students.” Duran said.
The “Just-in-Time” is another training program provided by the Workforce, in collaboration with San Antonio Manufacturers Association. The program has the capacity to add new workers every 30 days, as needed by employers.
“What’s most important is that this model that we are going to be teaching at the center uses technology to accelerate time to completion from one to two years to 90 days. So it really accelerates the learning and allows us to connect people that are looking for with the education training, and then align them to a job in almost a just-in time basis. That’s why we call this motto Just-in-time. Only this facility has the capacity to provide that training,” said Dr. Federico Zaragoza, vice chancellor of Economic and Workforce Development, Alamo Colleges. “This is going to benefit individuals that need it the most, like those who are unemployed and time is a real challenge for them. Life goes on, and they need to get a job, quick. This is going to help.”
“We’re different than any other center, it’s a great program. I love what we’re doing for the community. I think that out of this place will produce a lot of workers in the community, and will create a lot of jobs.” Duran stated.
For more information on the Alamo Colleges or the programs available at the Workforce Center of Excellence call (210) 485-0800 or visit www.alamo.edu.
Amanda Lozano is an intern at La Prensa de San Antonio. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.