West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin recently made a stop in Petersburg to celebrate two technological milestones in the county's storied history. The governor led the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College's Technology Training Center in the Grant County Industrial Park.
While in town, the governor also visited the South Side Depot to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Petersburg's first railroad.
Eastern's new 17,500-square-foot facility covers 3.3 acres and currently houses the college's automotive technology and wind energy turbine technology programs. Last July, Eastern launched its CDL truck driver training program at the center, which also hosts the Petersburg Adult Basic Education classes under a grant managed by the college.
"Our WorkForce education department also offers a series of health care occupation trainings for national certification at that facility," noted Eastern President Charles Terrell. This fall, those learners in the Tech Center are advancing in the pharmacy technician career track program; and next spring, the college will offer its medical billing and coding training there.
The Grant County Development Authority (GCDA), under the leadership of President John Harper, collaborated with Eastern in arranging for the college to bring its technology trainings to Petersburg.
"We talked with the seller and with vendors and worked closely with the college leadership to renovate the facility so it could comfortably house the auto tech program and two classrooms," said Ed Fisher, director of the GCDA.
"It's an example of civic and community collaboration for the benefit of all our citizens," he said.
Fisher noted that the Technology Training Center is "a great addition" to the county's economic development resources and a "great opportunity for the technical college to upgrade its presence in the county."
He also indicated that Eastern's Technology Center can play a vital role in training workers for technical jobs that he expects will develop through the GCDA's plans to expand the county's broadband capacity significantly and to bring a data center to the Business and Technology Park.
"Eastern's Center is a unique opportunity to bring high tech training to our county," Fisher said, "instead of having our residents go to Morgantown or Northern Virginia for training."
For more information about Eastern's financial aid opportunities, programs of study, workforce training and community education, call 877-982-2322; or visit the college's website at www.eastern.wvnet.edu.
Serving the residents of Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral, Pendleton and Tucker counties, Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College, fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, is a comprehensive and equal opportunity community and technical college bringing the resources and assets of Education That Works to the families, communities and employers of the Potomac Highland.