The seats were full and anticipation was high at the official opening ceremony of the new Business and Industry Center on October 20.
“This project is an outstanding example of what is possible when educators, community leaders and business leaders work together to prepare Missouri workers for success,” Gov. Nixon said at the ceremony. “The state-of-the-art classrooms, labs and training facilities in East Central’s new Business and Industry Center will help prepare a workforce that is ready to compete and win in our global economy, and the state of Missouri is proud to be a partner is this effort.”
After a tour of the facility, Gov. Nixon, ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer and ECC Board of Trustee members christened the new $5 million, 28,808 square foot building. It will serve as the new home of precision machining, industrial engineering technology and HVAC programs. In addition, lab and classroom space will accommodate short-term welding programs. Tours were open for the public after the ceremony.
“An exciting, new chapter has started at East Central College,” said ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer. “The Business and Industry Center will not only prepare our students for a growing workforce but also help companies in our community become more competitive through training of existing employees.”
ECC’s Center for Workforce Development is also located in the facility, which allows for further expansion of workforce training opportunities, creating more career opportunities for students by serving as the workforce training provider for the region.
Funding for the center was made possible through tax credits issued by the Missouri Development Finance Board, which is helping to raise $1.2 million in contributions to the East Central College Foundation, in addition to a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, a $1 million USDA Rural Economic Development loan and institutional funding.