A project to bring advanced technical training to North Central West Virginia is well underway, with local, state and federal officials breaking ground for the new facility. The Advanced Technology Center (ATC) will be located in the I-79 Technology Park in Fairmont, and will have more than 57,000 square feet devoted to delivering the technical training necessary to move West Virginia’s economy forward.
“From the beginning, the ATC project has been a story of regional partnerships and cooperation,” said Pierpont President Doreen Larson. “The very ground upon which it will be built was donated by one of the region’s leading economic development powerhouses – the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation. Area businesses and industries have met with us and provided insights into their plans and needs. Pierpont pledges to leverage this new facility to provide flexible, responsive training that leads to good-paying, local jobs and economic development for our region.”
The new laboratory and classroom facilities were planned in collaboration with local industry to ensure students will be prepared to succeed in the workforce. The space will also host a learning lab to encourage high school students to enter into technical programs.
“When I meet with business leaders interested in West Virginia, one of the first topics discussed is the need for a technically-skilled workforce,” said Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. “The Advanced Technology Center can meet that need by maintaining a ready-to-work workforce with cutting-edge knowledge. In addition, the ability to quickly develop any education and training programs an industry may need will become extremely valuable.”
Jim Skidmore, Chancellor for the Community & Technical College System of West Virginia says encouraging more adults to seek and complete training is a key strategy to moving the area’s economy forward. “This new facility will offer programs geared to all learners, and retraining displaced workers providing new career opportunities at home,” said Skidmore.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin says the Advanced Technology Center will be a critical resource in making sure West Virginians can find good jobs with benefits to provide for their families. “By working to with employers to train workers for jobs that exist right now, the ATC will give people the skills they need to give their families a better life,” Manchin said.