Posted at 10:58 AM
Guest blog post by Adrian Perez, Assistant to the Director, City of San Antonio Economic Development Department
On November 2, 2016, the city of San Antonio, Texas community leaders and elected officials celebrated the grand opening of the 56,000-square-foot Eastside Education & Training Center (EETC). The facility, which occupies the former Pfeiffer Elementary School, is a one-stop education and workforce development center designed for the Eastside community in partnership with Alamo Colleges and San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD). The EETC is modeled after Alamo Colleges’ highly successful Westside Education & Training Center.
The city identified and served as a co-applicant with Alamo Colleges and SAISD to secure a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to renovate the facility. The San Antonio’s Fiscal Year 2017 General Fund budget allocated $100,000 to open and operate the EETC for the next two years.
In July 2015, the city partnered with Alamo Colleges and other organizations to launch the Promise Zone to Work initiative to prepare Eastside residents for 21st century job opportunities by providing free job training classes in high-demand occupations. To-date, 325 residents have received career certificates in nursing, IT, welding, and heavy equipment operation, among other areas.
The EETC will provide residents with direct access to workforce, education and supportive services that create pathways to quality jobs and/or high education. To sustain these efforts, the city of San Antonio partnered with SAISD to provide free job training classes, GED preparation, job placement, financial counseling, child care and a kitchen incubator in one location.
The City of San Antonio has a great history of collaboration with Alamo Colleges, particularly in the area of workforce development. The nationally recognized Alamo Academies program provides San Antonio’s youth with tuition-free career pathways into critical demand technical STEM occupations.
And that is what it is all about — growing as a region.
On September 9, 2016, also thanks to Economic Development Administration funding, the Alamo Colleges–Central Texas Technology Center in New Braunfels held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open its recently completed expansion. Following the ribbon-cutting, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams and San Antonio City Councilman Joe Krier announced that the Central Texas region, including San Antonio, will host the 7th Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ACE) in April 2017.
ACE is a regional program under the framework of the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC) that seeks to facilitate long-term partnerships around value-added innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities of collaboration among countries of the Western Hemisphere and beyond.
San Antonio won the bid to host the next ACE together with Central Texas partners Austin, College Station, San Marcos, New Braunfels and Fredericksburg, and will kick off the weeklong exchange on April 2, 2017 to welcome 50 high-level decision-makers from across the globe to exchange ideas and showcase the economic anchors that make Central Texas unique.
To view the official announcement, visit https://www.sanantonio.gov/Commpa/News/ArtMID/1970/ArticleID/9019/Opening-of-Eastside-Education-Training-Center-Celebrated-with-Ribbon-cutting. To learn more about the city of San Antonio and its various initiatives and programs, visit www.sanantonio.gov.