The Nacogdoches Technical Training Center will be operated by Angelina College. In late 2010, the Nacogdoches County Commissioners Court demonstrated of its commitment to establishing the
Nacogdoches County Technical Training Center by purchasing a 28,000 sq. ft. former beer distributorship facility at 6003 North Street in Nacogdoches. The facility, located on 4.5 acres of land on US-59 Business, will be retrofitted into a Technical Training Center with classrooms and lab space.
Initially, we intend to create approximately 15,000 sq. ft. of classroom, lab and school administration offices at an estimated cost of $1.5 million. This will leave us with 13,000 sq. ft. for storage and future growth as requirements dictate.
To expand its offerings in support of the oil and gas sector, Angelina College will partner with Panola College to offer a Petroleum Technology Program, which will certification in Levels I-IV, as well as an associate's degree. A limited number of classes are currently being offered at the Technical Training Center campus at 6003 North Street.
The first classes in support of the Petroleum Technology program began in January 2012.
The Nacogdoches County Commissioner’s Court and County Judge, in partnership with the Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) and representatives from the local business community and education establishment, are working to establish a Technical Training Center in Nacogdoches that will provide bankable job skills (i.e., welding, HVAC, electrician, petroleum technology, nurse’s aide, automotive technology, etc.) to non-college bound students; to provide a technical training facility for local companies that will also serve as a conduit for state workforce training incentive programs; and to provide targeted adult education training classes for citizens to improve their education and skills. In addition, the Center will offer GED and English as a Second Language courses.
Our servicing community college, Angelina College, is located 45-minutes away in a neighboring county, a distance that limits its useful access by local employers and high school students. Angelina College has agreed to operate and maintain the Technical Training Center in Nacogdoches if we provide them with the physical facility.
In addition, Panola College in Shelby County has agreed to partner with Angelina College to offer programs (such as Petroleum Technology) and classes at the Nacogdoches Training Center that Angelina College does not currently offer at its main campus. Nacogdoches County is located at the edge of the Haynesville Shale, the largest proven reservoir of natural gas in the U.S. and skilled workers in this industry sector are in huge demand by the oil and gas companies.
Nothing is as critical to the future of the economy of Nacogdoches as our ability to provide local employers with a skilled and reliable workforce in sufficient numbers to meet their requirements. The quality of our workforce is far-and-away our most important attribute. We must do everything we can to ensure that it remains an asset and not a liability and that requires constant and continuous training.
Nacogdoches County lags the U.S. and the State of Texas when it comes to educational attainment. Only 24% of the adults in Nacogdoches County have at least a college degree, and only 75% have at least a high school diploma. (Source: InfoUSA 2009, Sites on Texas).
In addition, Nacogdoches County is aging at a rate faster than the U.S. and Texas. (See “A Study to Determine the Feasibility of a Workforce Technical Training Center in Nacogdoches, TX”, page 7) A principle reason is that 28.1% of our youth leave the County to seek a post-secondary education and, of those who leave, 75% will find employment elsewhere (See Feasibility study, page 16). Those who remain make up our local workforce.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020, 65% of all new jobs in Texas will require at least two years of post-secondary education and 1-2 industry certifications through technical schools, military, community college or industrial certifications. (See Feasibility study, page 6).
Nacogdoches County has also been hit hard by Mother Nature. In addition to the tremendous physical damage inflicted upon Nacogdoches County as a result of Hurricane Ike in September 2008, nearly 1,500 County residents lost their jobs in the aftermath. (See Tab 5 – “Job Loss Impact on Low-to-Moderate Income Population”).
According to data provided by the Texas Workforce Commission, first-time unemployment benefits were given to 810 Nacogdoches County claimants in the six months following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ike, and to 1,468 claimants in the first 12 months. While many who lost their jobs in the immediate aftermath were able to obtain temporary jobs in the extended cleanup effort, eventually those temporary jobs disappeared, too.
The impact of Hurricane Ike was felt especially hard in our low-to-moderate income community. Of the 1,468 Nacogdoches County residents who lost their jobs and who filed for unemployment payments in aftermath of Hurricane Ike, the majority had annual incomes of less than $30,000 (See Tab 5). As a basis for comparison, the median household income (HHI) for Nacogdoches County is $34,904, while the Texas median HHI is $52,111 and the national median HHI is $53,684. (Source: InfoUSA 2009, Sites on Texas).
Many of these jobs will probably never come back. Thus, it is critically important to establish a technical training center in Nacogdoches County that will help retrain these individuals and arm them with the job skills that will enable them take their rightful place in the middle class and enjoy the fruits of the American Dream.
The handwriting is on the wall for rural communities like Nacogdoches. How are we going to ensure that our young people have the job skills necessary to enable them to get good-paying jobs and participate in the American Dream? What are we doing to ensure that our local businesses are able to find workers with sufficient skills and in sufficient quantities to enable those businesses to continue to be successful in Nacogdoches County?
An outside consultant was contracted to conduct a Needs Assessment to validate the requirement for the Training Center. The assessment was completed in February 2010 and validated the need for the Training Center.
Impact DataSource, based in Austin, Texas, performed an economic impact & job creation analysis for the Nacogdoches Technical Training Center. Over the first 10 years, it is projected that the Center will support $32.6 million in economic activity in the Nacogdoches County area. In addition, the Center will support 73 area jobs with annual salaries of $3.53 million. (See “A Report of the Economic Impact of Angelina College Nacogdoches Technical Training Center,” page 4).
Students who graduate from the Nacogdoches Technical Training Center will enter the workforce with the skills for higher paying jobs. An analysis of the first 10 years, which assumes 60% of the Center's graduates will remain and work in Nacogdoches Count, projects an estimated cumulative earnings of nearly $460 million. (See Economic Impact Analysis, page 14).
Our plan is to begin with a 25,000 sq. ft. facility consisting of a mixture of classrooms and shop/lab space. Nacogdoches County, as a demonstration of its commitment, has purchased a former beer distributorship facility that will be retrofitted into a Technical Training Center at an estimated cost of roughly $3.6 million. This compares to an estimated cost of $5.6 million to build the facility from the ground up. In addition to the significant cost savings, it also will give new life to an existing unused building. Several grant applications have been submitted by Nacogdoches County Commission.
The buildings (a 25,000 sq. ft. main building and a 2,800 sq. ft. annex) sit on a 4.5 acre site on US-59 Business and offer easy access to buses from our local high schools, as well to employees of local businesses. A property appraisal was performed by William J. Lyon & Associates and appraised the property at $700,000.
For its part, the Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) has committed $75,000 over five years toward construction and remodeling of the facility.