Local public officials joined North Central Texas College staff and students for a recent open house at the new IT Career Connection Center in Corinth.
The center, located across from the NCTC Corinth campus in Pinnell Square, was made possible thanks to a large grant from the Department of Labor to help train workers in Information Technology.
North Central Texas College received more than $4.66 million in October 2013 as part of a four-college, multi-state consortium grant in an effort to expand demand-driven skills training and strengthen employer partnerships. The grant is part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program, a multi-year, nearly $2 billion initiative, to expand targeted training programs for unemployed workers, especially those impacted by foreign trade, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Labor.
NCTC partnered with three community colleges in Minnesota to develop the grant proposal. As a partner in this consortium, NCTC will expand the college’s Information Technology programs to include CyberSecurity, VoIP Certificate, Database Management, Web Design and Microsoft certifications. Major industry partners include CISCO and Microsoft.
To fulfill this project, NCTC will upgrade IT programs, install new equipment in networking and technology labs, construct career ladders, work to remove barriers to the TAA-eligible workers and other adult workforce center clients, and find high-wage employment. Along with this project, the college will develop or expand a range of IT programs that will be available at all RITA grant colleges, onsite, online, or hybrid. Each program is designed for completion within two years.
The Open House attracted several elected officials, as well as others that just wanted to see the latest addition to NCTC.
“I was delighted to see a great turnout from the public,” Grant Manager Susan Svane said. “We had a lot of public officials that were here, plus we had students, faculty, people from both inside and outside of NCTC. Everyone seemed very enthusiastic about the grant and what the center brings to the community.”
U.S. Representative Myra Crownover attended the ceremony, as did representatives from the offices of Congressman Michael Burgess and State Representative Tan Parker. Also in attendance was Denton County Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell. Representatives from the Denton Area Chamber of Commerce, Lake Cities Chamber of Commerce and Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce attended to assist with the ribbon cutting.
Also on hand were Michael Olesen, the Director of the Rural Information Technology Alliance, along with RITA Communications Coordinator Matt Klinkhammer, who both made the trip to Corinth from Minnesota.
The RITA grant is set up to help build stronger infrastructure within the college in regards to curriculum and the hardware that is located in our classrooms, but it also funded the IT Career Connections Center and this is dedicated to providing services that take the students from recruitment all the way through employment.
“In this center we have a testing center that allows students to take nationally-recognized certification tests based on the curriculum that is being delivered,” Svane said. “We have a tutoring center that offers support for the courses that are being taught through the IT program. Our education and employment coaches are located here.
“They provide services from the time that we first meet a student with advising from an academic standpoint as well as career coaching. When a student is at the point that they are ready to seek employment, we assist them in that process. That includes looking at their resume, helping them with the process of updating it, or just anything that they need through that process. In some cases, it’s mock interviews, or sometimes it’s just a case of where do I go to look for jobs that match their skills and interests.”
For more information on the IT Career Connection Center or the Information Technology programs offered at NCTC, contact Svane at 940-498-6440 or by email at [email protected]
Darin Allred is a public relations specialist with North Central Texas College