Texarkana College Trustees Break Ground on Center for Workforce Innovation
February 26, 2018, Texarkana, TX– Texarkana College broke ground today for the new Center for Workforce Innovation. Trustees along with community members, college faculty, staff and students, attended the ceremony announcing plans for the new site. The new 19,568 square foot center will house four programs that prepare students to enter regional high-demand careers in Construction Technology, Electrical Technology, Electronics Technology/Instrumentation, and Industrial Maintenance/Multi-Craft.
“The new site is the first construction project TC has initiated in over twenty years,” said President James Henry Russell. “The programs housed in the building will provide a high return on investment both for our students and for our community. The skills students will learn in these programs lead to jobs with competitive wages and help our area employers fill vacancies in their workforce.”
Russell said TC’s highest priority is increasing the number of people with higher education credentials in the region and responding to local workforce needs.
“Job opportunities in these fields have a positive growth outlook for our region over the next 10 years,” Russell said. “Many of our regional businesses and industries have an aging workforce without a pipeline of skilled workers in place to fill vacancies as natural attrition occurs. TC’s programs are short, hands-on training opportunities taught by faculty members who are experts in their fields and who are familiar with employers’ needs. Each program has oversight by industry-specific advisory boards comprised of local business owners, human resource managers, and corporate professionals.”
Construction on The Center for Workforce Innovation is underway with a grand-opening target date of late Fall 2018.
Following the ceremony, Trustees convened for their regular monthly meeting. Members heard a report from TC Foundation Director, Katie Andrus, who highlighted the Foundation’s financial and development performance for 2017.
“As part of TC’s Strategic Plan, one of the top priorities is to reach $10 million in Foundation assets by 2020, and to grow the TC Alumni & Friends Network to 1,000 member by 2018,” said Andrus. “I am pleased to report we have exceeded our member network goals, and we are moving the needle toward reaching $10mm by 2020. However, there is still a lot of work to do to achieve our endowment goal ensuring full and continuous funding of the Presidential Scholarship initiative.”
Andrus said as of January 31, 2018, the TC Foundation had assets of $7,847,951, and the 2017 total return net of fees was 12.9%.
“The Foundation’s investment committee along with Katie’s leadership and expertise has led to substantial gains in investment performance in recent years,” said Russell. “Since the Foundation’s beginning in 1959, its goal has been to provide external resources to fund College priorities and to create opportunities for students by building partnerships with alumni, donors and foundations. Today, the TC Foundation’s investment portfolio is stronger than ever, and great strides have been made in establishing vital relationships with donors and foundations seeking to support higher education initiatives such as Texas Pioneer Foundation.”
As part of her report, Andrus also showed a video about Fadi Youssef, an international student attending TC, who shared his story with the group and told of the significant positive impact TC has had on his life and his attainment of a degree.
In other business, Trustees took action to approve a tuition and fee increase for Fall 2018 of $2.00 per credit hour for in-district and out-of-district resident tuition, and a $3.00 per credit hour increase for non-resident tuition resulting in an estimated $110,000 in new revenue to the college.
“It is TC’s mission to advance our community through attainable higher education,” said Russell. “This means keeping the cost of attending TC at the lowest possible rate for our students. Historically, TC has been below many of our peer institutions in the amount we charge for tuition and fees, and currently we are right at the state average for community colleges. After a comprehensive review of financial information, the administration is proposing a small increase to tuition for Fall 2018.”
Russell said there are no recommended increases for Dual Credit fees and even with the proposed slight increase, TC tuition and fees will still be affordable and in-line with the rates charged by our peer institutions.
“The rates set for tuition and fees for the 2018-19 fiscal year will be used to project tuition and fee revenue for the 2018-19 budget,” said Russell. “We are basing the estimated new revenue calculations on past enrollment patters, and the total amount realized could be affected by a number of factors. We will continue to project, monitor and update you to changes on this estimation as more information becomes available.”
In final business, Robert Jones, Dean of Students and Dr. Donna McDaniel, VP of Instruction, presented the Leah Meyer Austin Award trophy and honorary check to Trustees. TC was a co-recipient of the award along with Odessa College and was recognized last week at the national Achieving the Dream conference held in Nashville, Tennessee. The award and $25,000 check were given to TC for attaining the highest student graduation rate in the state, and for substantial advancement of African American student completion rates. The national Leah Meyer Austin award is the highest national recognition a community college can receive for attaining outstanding student success and achievement.