Nacogdoches looking for tech center funding

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Students need a technical training center in Nacogdoches. For more than a year planners have been working toward such a goal.

A recently completed economic impact analysis supports the cause.

"That over 10 years the impact will be 3,000 new jobs and approximately $450-million in additional salaries in Nacogdoches County," NEDCO Chairman Ed Pool said.

The job creation analysis is necessary when seeking outside funding. Now is the time to apply for grants from the economic development administration.

"It's critical because of he competitiveness. Our region encompasses five states, so the competition is not just with Texas, but with those other four states for this funding," said DETCOG Executive Director Walter Diggles.

A plan of action is also necessary. Today, county commissioners gave authorization to submit a bid on an existing building. The retrofit is estimated to cost $2 million dollars less than constructing a new facility.

Agencies already in the business of putting people to work are recognizing the need for a technical center. Workforce Solutions is even wanting to be under the same roof or in close proximity to the school.

There are already technical training centers in Jasper, Crockett, Lufkin and Center with curriculums geared for their local communities. Educators do not consider one more an over-saturation.

"To serve those who can't go the distance, who don't have transportation, need the funds to go and get this training and certification," said NISD Educator Terrance Hicks.

The convenient placement is necessary. The demand for a technically trained labor force is much greater than the supply.

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