A new branch of Texas State Technical College is nearly two months into the semester, and Fort Bend County residents turned out to celebrate the campus’s grand opening Thursday.
Measuring 126,000 square feet, TSTC Fort Bend is located at 26706 Hwy. 59, Rosenberg, and is one of two buildings planned for the site. The second facility—the 50,000-square-foot Brazos Center—is scheduled to open in 2017.
“This building is only the beginning, but oh, what a beginning,” said Randy Wooten, TSTC Fort Bend vice chancellor and chief execution officer.
TSTC Fort Bend offers courses in cyber security, diesel equipment, HVAC, industrial maintenance, precision machining, telecommunications and welding technologies.
Speakers at the opening included U.S. Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land; state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham; state Reps. Rick Miller, John Zerwas and Phil Stephenson, as well as Fort Bend County Judge Robert Hebert. Representatives of the George Foundation and Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation, which both contributed to the project, spoke as well.
“Come to Fort Bend County, and you will have a trained workforce,” Stephenson, R-Wharton, said.
Michael Reeser, TSTC Fort Bend chancellor and CEO, announced that in honor of the grand opening, the school made 200 $1,000 scholarships available to Fort Bend County residents. Attendees were encouraged to fill out certificates to give a scholarship to a prospective student or keep it for themselves to use by the fall 2017 semester.
“What we’re trying to do is make it as easy as possible,” Reeser said.
He said any scholarships unclaimed after Thursday would be redistributed another way.
Reeser also announced a new option for all TSTC students statewide: a money-back guarantee for those in the welding, instrumentation, electrical line work, diesel equipment, and electrical power and control programs. He said students who complete one of the programs may take an extracurricular course to learn job hunting and interviewing skills.
If those students fulfill such requirements and work with TSTC staff to find jobs, the college will refund them their tuition if the students are unable to find work six months after graduation, Reeser said.
“We’re saying to those students, ‘We’re eliminating the risk,’” he said.