(WACO) – Texas State Technical College in Waco was recently recognized regionally for being a shining star in economic development.
The technical college received the Star of the Southwest Award at the 2017 Southwest Region Executive Directors Association (SWREDA) Annual Conference in late July in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The organization is made up of economic development representatives from Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Staff at the Heart of Texas Council of Governments Economic Development District in Waco nominated the technical college for utilizing $1.5 million in U.S. Economic Development Administration funding to help construct the James T. Connally Aerospace Center. The building was dedicated in May 2012.
“I think the significance of the award is to recognize the high quality programs that represent TSTC,” said Russell Devorsky, executive director of the Heart of Texas Council of Governments.
TSTC Provost Adam Hutchison traveled to Louisiana to accept the award. While attending the conference, he networked with attendees and talked about the value of two-year colleges to economic development and job training.
“TSTC is all about economic development,” Hutchison said. “We are a public institution with economic development in its mission. We are funded through the state based on economic impact through our students.”
The aerospace building is named for Col. James T. Connally, a U.S. Army air corpsman who died May 29, 1945, during a raid over Yokohama, Japan. The structure is on the site of the former operations base for Waco Army Air Field, which became James Connally Air Force Base and is now the site of for Texas State Technical College.
TSTC provided $8.6 million in bonds and airport funds for the project with other financial help from the Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corporation, Bellmead Economic Development Corporation and the Texas Department of Transportation, according to SWREDA and the May, 4, 2012 edition of the Waco Tribune-Herald.
The 82,000-square-foot structure houses TSTC’s Air Traffic Controller, Aircraft Airframe Technician, Aircraft Dispatch Technology, Aircraft Pilot Training Technology, Aircraft Powerplant Technology and Avionics Technology programs. More than 3,000 students have taken classes and trained at the center since its opening, according to SWREDA.
Devorsky said the award was great exposure for the technical college beyond Texas’ borders.
“I had several individuals ask for contact information because they had relatives or knew people interested in aviation training,” he said.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.