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TBCC Connections: TBCC Campus Just Expanded! -Tillamook Bay Community College

TBCC Connections: TBCC Campus Just Expanded!

By President Ross Tomlin

Ross Tomlin Photo

Almost four years ago, TBCC added a new building across the street from the main campus- the Partners for Rural Innovation. It has been a huge success serving hundreds of events and classes for the community and partners and will be highlighted in a future TBCC Connections. Now TBCC has added another building to our growing campus, and it is also just across the street from the main campus! TBCC just purchased the Mechtronics building on Third Street that had been owned by Ed and Eileen Seeger for over 25 years. It will now become the Center for Industrial Technology and house our manufacturing and welding technology programs.

The College has some work to do to get the building ready for students but are hopeful to have that done by either this spring or summer term. We have already received almost half of the building cost in generous donations from both TBCC Foundation Board member Janet Riedel and the Loren E. Parks Trust! The College is very fortunate to have such giving people and organizations in our community that believe in our mission and the work we are doing for students. The College is also submitting proposals to the federal government for grants to cover a majority of the required improvement costs.

For the past 11 years, the TBCC Manufacturing and Industrial Technology programs have been housed at Tillamook High School in their Career-Technical building. Both the college and high school programs in that building have been growing in recent years, and space is maxed out. The College will continue to use that building over the coming years but purchasing the Mechtronics building will allow for continued growth of the Industrial Technology programs and opportunity to expand class times. It is an important goal of TBCC to continue to add new career-technical programs to provide highly skilled workers in fields of high need with living wages.

The Welding Technology program was just added in Fall 2019 and has been very successful, requiring additional class sections to be added in its first year. This fall, the new Agricultural Technology program was started, which includes manufacturing courses. So, the timing of purchasing this building is perfect for these programs. The College also just received a generous donation of a new CNC manufacturing machine from Stimson Lumber and the Stimson Miller Foundation that will be the first piece of equipment in the new Center for Industrial Technology.

A perfect example of why the college continues to invest in high quality, career-technical programs is the need from local employers. Hallco, a well-known international company located in Tillamook, just hired one of our welding students. The Tillamook County Health Department also just hired one of our recent Medical Assisting graduates. These programs are adding great value to people and companies in Tillamook County, and this new building for TBCC will bring great value to these programs and our students over the coming years. We will be putting a sign up at the building over the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for it. We plan to have a grand opening of the building this coming spring or summer when the improvements are completed.