A lack of trained workers, industrial technology and classroom space led to the construction of a $4.6 million Career and Technical Training Center on the Moore County Campus in Dumas. Construction lasted 11 months and finished in late August.
A series of surveys, focus groups and meetings with the community led an advisory committee to suggest the new construction.
“The advisory committee was listening to the community, and the community wanted technical training and parents wanted their kids to get technical training so they can get a job,” said Joe Wyatt, Amarillo College communication coordinator. “They didn’t want to drive to Amarillo every day to get training.”
A bond that the Dumas community voted on paid for the new construction. Eleven acres of donated land in the Dumas Economic Development Business Park were given for the construction.
“It is approximately 30,000 square feet with 18,000 square feet of finished space,” Executive Director Renee Vincent wrote in an email. “It houses seven classrooms, two shops, offices and work areas. The 12,000-square-foot unfinished area is heated and air-conditioned and could be used for shop or lab space as well.”
New technology and industrial equipment, provided by federal grants, allow students to have better employment opportunities in technical career fields that will boost the economic growth rate in the Dumas area.
“Students can stay in Dumas, Sunray and Cactus for quality technical and employment training,” Vincent wrote.
“The economic impact of the career and technical training partnership with employers will be more jobs paying a higher wage, more dollars staying in our community and a stable, growing population in the Panhandle.”
Construction began last October and was completed Aug. 23.
On opening day, the campus hosted a ribbon-tying ceremony that symbolized the partnership between the Moore County Campus and AC in the expansion of career and technical training opportunities.
“I believe there were over 100 people present at the event,” said Danielle Arias, assistant director of continuing education and workforce development responses, in an email.
“It is evident that our community is excited and supportive of our new project.”
Dumas Independent School District officials said they believe the new building will benefit their students in both academics and in career fields.
“From the standpoint of DISD, this is a wonderful opportunity to extend the learning from high school to college for the students in Dumas and surrounding towns,” Dumas ISD Superintendent Mark Stroebel wrote in an email.
“Our students will benefit tremendously because of the common goals and vision of the school district and Amarillo College. The possibilities are limitless.”