The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news.
The Yakima Valley Technical Skills Center (YV Tech) celebrated the completion of major expansion projects yesterday. The school, which provides technical training to high school and college students, added over 60,000 square feet of new classrooms and facility space to support vocational training.
YV Tech Director Craig Dwight told attendees that the $22 million dollar project came to fruition thanks to our 13th, 14th, and 15th legislators. YV-Tech students handed out plaques to legislators in appreciation for their help making this project happen. Senator Curtis King was on hand and said it took a team effort to get this project funded. He recounted how many students and community members came to Olympia in support of this dream and how important this advocacy was to the overall project's success.
Representative Johnson thanked Craig Dwight for his tireless work to advance this new facility. Both he and Senator King also thanked Representative Judy Warnick for her support of the expanded center. She played an instrumental role in getting this project into the capital budget. Johnson felt that without her efforts we might not be sitting in this wonderful new building today.
The expanded facility features new space for the school's automotive, engineering, green energy, dental, carpentry and robotics programs.
The Skills Center is supported by 16 local school districts and two private schools. The Yakima Valley Community College and Perry Technical Institute are significant partners as well. Over 800 students are enrolled at the center. With the expansion YV Tech will now be able to accommodate1200 students.
New Vision congratulates everyone at YV Tech and from the community who helped create this success story. Vocational technical programs are so important today and will only grow in importance in the years ahead. It is nice to know that YV Tech is poised and ready to help our region develop its talent pipeline for the future.