New Advanced Technology Center Offers Training for Today's Jobs

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- At a time when the job outlook is rather gloomy in the Mountain State, there's now a new option for those in search of a new career.

A brand new state-of-the-art facility can help you gain the skills needed for a number of jobs in the technology field.

It's part of Bridge Valley Community and Technical College, but isn't what you'd expect to find on a college campus.

"This is not a typical academic building," school President Dr.Jo Harris said. "Basically, this is a building for business and industry for our partners. We have a few academic programs here, but they're here because of the equipment."

With books and classrooms few and far between, the new building is all about hands-on experience.

The Advanced Technology Center (ATC) was dedicated Tuesday afternoon.

It consists of many labs where you can go and train for today's jobs.

Some students are already working at Toyota, which announced at the dedication that it's pledging $1 million during the next five years, which will be used to keep equipment updated.

The ATC offers training in many technology fields, including advanced manufacturing, chemical process, advanced welding, computer networking and emergency management.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin expects it to have a domino effect when it comes to strengthening West Virginia's economy.

"What we're doing here is we're bringing employers in, asking them what kind of services, what kind of skills they need our employees to have," Tomblin said. "Then we can develop the program that they've asked for in order to train employees for that."

The ATC will be used by other community and technical colleges, not just Bridge Valley.

Along with Toyota, other companies and organizations are already taking advantage of the new facility. In fact, the National Guard was there Tuesday using one of the labs to help with training.

This is the first ATC in the state. However, another one will soon be built in Fairmont.

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