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) recently opened their doors in a new state-of-the-art facility in Yakima. The 41,000 square foot building features classrooms equipped with smart boards, a fashion marketing classroom that looks like a clothing store, and a modern commercial kitchen that supports the school’s culinary arts program. According to Principal Craig Dwight, “This new facility creates great new opportunities for our students to get a relevant career oriented education. Creating a pipeline of talented workers will provide a big return to our regional economy.”
YV Tech is Washington State’s second oldest skills center, established in 1976. Today it serves 840 students and adults from throughout the region. Currently, the school has nine satellite locations throughout Yakima County teaching 23 disciplines with automotive and computer technology, collision repair, carpentry, and video production being just some of the valuable programs being offered to high school students and adults.
According to Dwight, school officials are seeking additional funding to add another 59,000 square feet to the building. This expansion would allow the Skills Center to add a multimedia center, a dental classroom and an automotive complex. A third phase expansion would allow YV Tech to build a facility in Sunnyside.
According to Tammy Everts, business development director for New Vision, “The new Skills Center is an incredibly important investment. Our economic development aspirations depend on raising educational attainment and meeting local employers’ demand for skilled workers.”