Coastal Bend College President Dr. Beatriz Espinoza, during a grand opening ceremony Wednesday, said, “It is a pleasure to be a part of this great partnership. It really was a short conversation that led to big dreams.
“I appreciate that this was filled with volumes of books that we decided needed a new home.
“And that we could make space and bring this technology and resource to our community.”
The Beeville Career Center occupies approximately 4,000 square feet of space inside the college’s library located in the Grady C. Hogue Learning Resource Building.
Ken Trevino, president/CEO of Workforce Solutions, said that it took only a few months for them to reach an agreement with the college and outfit their new home.
“In the fall this had books in it,” Trevino said as he looked around at the space now filled with cubicles.
County Judge David Silva, who has taught history at the college for many years, described walking into the area as a homecoming.
“In this part we had a lot of the history and research books,” he said.
“I spent many, many hours doing research, directing them and leading them.”
But, he said, times have changed.
“It is one of those things that should have happened years ago. Education has changed so much and the way we deliver it,” he said.
Espinoza said that this is just the latest in the college’s effort to expand their offerings into the community.
“It is a new day, and we are working together to form partnerships with a lot of the resources in our community and at our fingertips,” she said.
“I understand it is the first in the state.
“We are going to brag about that a lot. We are going to be shameless in that because we already know it is successful.
“The more we maximize the resources that keep thinning in our different areas in our smaller communities, the better we are able to serve our communities because we are not duplicating efforts.”
Martha Warner, who sits on the college board, praised this latest addition to the college and the benefit it will provide for the students.
“We have some excellent faculty. We have some excellent staff. They love to teach, and they are going to continue to teach and bring the kids forward so they have a job when they are through,” Warner said.
As a former state criminal prosecutor, Warner knows just how important an education is to keeping youths and adults out of prison.
“Most of the kids that go to prison are totally uneducated,” she said. “They don’t have the skills. They don’t have an education. And they just hit a wall, and sometimes they fall into crime, and they continue to prison.
“It is better to keep them out of that. An education and a good job go a long way.”
Trevino said that the students will be able to utilize the Workforce’s resources to help them choose classes that will most benefit them after graduation.
“Kids, before they are signing up for classes, are actually coming and using our labor market intelligence to decide what classes they are going to take because they need to know there is going to be a job attached to it and how much it is going to pay,” he said.
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.