The BBCC campus community comes together each year for our employee giving event, helping to support the college and our students. The BBCC Foundation Executive Director, LeAnne K. Parton shares, “I am always moved and inspired by the level of generosity and care the Big Bend faculty and staff have for its students and each other.”
To meet the needs of both our workforce and employers, BBCC has launched Building Tomorrow’s Workforce, a comprehensive building and funding program. The new workforce education buildings will provide modern and efficient training space, replacing the inefficient and unsafe facilities that were never meant for educational purposes. Not only that, but the new facilities will draw new students to the region’s job possibilities and retain them there.
This project is not about the building, it is about what happens inside the buildings to “Build Tomorrow’s Workforce”. Construction costs for the 146,000 square feet of new workforce education space are estimated at $48,000,000. State funding will underwrite $37,000,000, and the College has committed $6,000,000 from reserves. The remaining funding will come from private industry, foundations, and individuals.
Most of Big Bend’s Workforce Programs are housed in The Workforce Education Center (WEC). Yet WEC represents so much more than training in business and industry. Through the doors of this beautiful, yet functional facility walk students with their talents, hopes, and dreams of building their skills and increasing their knowledge so that they can have meaningful, fulfilling careers. Truly, the careers that follow their education and training transform their lives and open possibilities to contribute meaningfully to their own personal and familial betterment. Future generations will be impacted by the students who graduate from these workforce programs today.
I am grateful for the donors, business and industry leaders as well as the Big Bend employees and trustees who saw the Workforce Education Center through to completion. All of these efforts combined are making it possible for talented individuals to fulfill their own dreams.
“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill
A few years ago at an in-service meeting, I told our employees how working at a college is similar to building a medieval cathedral. During the Middle Ages, cathedrals often took centuries to complete. Workers failed to live long enough to see the final product, but they knew that their contributions were important to the success of the overall project.
Similarly, Big Bend Community College is continually developing, and we will never see a “final product”. Its Workforce Education Center (WEC) and Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) hangar are opportunities to see the completion of a major development in the college’s ability to provide high-quality technical education and training to meet the workforce needs of local employers. Donors to the WEC and AMT hangar make a personal legacy with their generosity as noted by Churchill. Their investments also make possible the transformation of lives by the programs within these new buildings. We at Big Bend and the Big Bend Foundation are grateful for donors’ willingness to build a positive future for Big Bend and the communities it serves.