GROUNDBREAKING FOR HODDE CENTER EXPANSION SET FOR THURSDAY

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Thursday, January 12, at 3:30 p.m. for the expansion of the Workforce and Technical Training Center inside the Brenham Business Center industrial park, located on Hwy. 290 at FM 577.

This will kick off construction of a $2 million EDA-funded grant project to expand the A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center at Blinn College and provide additional job training programs in the Brenham area.

Grant funds totaling $1.35 million were provided through the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Economic Development Assistance Program.  Local partners funded approximately $650,000, including the Brenham Community Development Corporation of the City of Brenham, Blinn College, Washington County Commissioners Court, and the Brenham Economic Development Foundation.  The Brenham EDF is the official grant recipient and owner of the new facility.  Blinn College will operate it and administer all training programs.

The grant funded the design, engineering and construction of the training center expansion. Blinn College has agreed to handle daily operations of the new facility as an extension of the adjacent Hodde Center, located in the Brenham Business Center at 2910 South Blue Bell Road. The new space will include multi-purpose classrooms and workforce labs, and is expected to be completed by summer 2017, with training beginning on-site that fall.

“We are extremely honored that the EDA selected this project in Brenham for funding,” said William H. Holle, chairman of the Brenham EDF Board. “It will generate a positive impact for area employers and individuals.”

Blinn will lease and operate the completed facility for up to 20 years and will develop new programs to support the high skill/high growth occupations in the region. Blinn will utilize the additional space to expand its current welding offerings, introduce new diesel engine mechanics and commercial maintenance programs, and offer heavy equipment operator training with an advanced safety course.

“The workforce training programs made possible by this facility include a diverse selection of high-demand career paths,” said Dr. Mary Hensley, Blinn College District President/CEO. “They empower local job seekers and provide businesses with the highly skilled, goal-oriented employees they need to stay at the forefront of their respective industries.”

Managed by Blinn’s Division of Technical and Community Education, the Hodde Center offers a variety of career development and leadership courses, as well as training for welders, machinists, forklift operators, oilfield workers, certified nurse aides, phlebotomy technicians, medication and other high-demand, high-wage careers. For a complete list of courses currently offered at the Hodde Center, visit: http://www.blinn.edu/workforce/brenham-workforce-classes.pdf.

Blinn’s Division of Technical and Community Education improves the local economy by helping job-seekers obtain the skills and credentials they need to succeed in the workplace, and by partnering with local businesses to offer training opportunities for incumbent and new employees. For more information on Blinn’s workforce education opportunities, including class schedules and registration information, visit www.blinn.edu/workforce.