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November 7, 2013

Blinn’s Hodde Center to showcase its career and technical training programs

College invites local businesses and future students to its 12,000-square-foot facility

Blinn College invites local businesses and future students to the A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center on Nov. 14 to tour the facility and meet the students strengthening Washington County’s workforce.

The open house is part of Accelerate Texas Week Nov. 11-15, a statewide celebration of an initiative that helps thousands of adult basic education students accelerate through integrated basic skills and career and technical training to earn credentials with immediate labor market value.

As part of the celebration, students will create displays describing their motivators and employment goals.

Earlier this year, Blinn was awarded a $325,000 Accelerate Texas grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to help adult students acquire skills and certificates in high-demand occupations.

The Accelerate Texas grant increases the participation and success of adult basic education students in workforce training programs at community colleges and public technical institutions. According to Jobs for the Future, at least 60 percent of jobs in Texas will require a career certificate or college degree by 2020 but 44 percent of Texans over age 25 have never attended college.

While state and federal funding for adult basic education programs have increased in Texas, enrollment is down almost 20 percent over the last five years. To combat this trend, Accelerate Texas programs are integrating basic skills programs with career and technical pathways to help adult students acquire the skills they need for productive careers.

Blinn College’s A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center is partnering with the Region VI Education Service Center’s adult basic education program to transition Region VI students to the Hodde Center’s manufacturing, professional office specialist and health profession courses. The Region VI Education Service Center, located in Huntsville, provides adult basic education programs in 15 Texas counties. By partnering with the Education Service Center, Blinn will increase participation of Region VI’s basic skills, English as a second language and adult education students in the technical training programs the College already offers.

The grant also helps pay for personnel, new scholarships and supplies.

Blinn recently expanded its use of the grant to benefit workforce education programs on its Bryan campus.

The 12,000-square foot A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center was built in 2009 to provide local training for a quality, viable workforce in Washington and the surrounding communities. Its staff works in cooperation with local businesses to provide a well-trained workforce that strengthens the local economy. For more information on the Hodde Center and its course offerings, call 979-830-4443 or visit www.blinn.edu/blinntec.