KLAMATH FALLS — Klamath Community College is pleased to announce the college has been awarded an $8 million match grant to fund construction of an Apprenticeship and Industrial Trades Center.
The center, according to KCC President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez, is a vision of the future and foundational step in creating a workforce pipeline that starts in high school and transitions students from the classroom into high-demand skilled trades careers.
“The lack of trades professionals is stifling growth in Klamath Falls and across the nation,” said Gutierrez said. “Through this new center, KCC can train a workforce to provide local services that are currently being contracted to out-of-area companies.”
According to the Oregon Employment Department publication, “Rebuilding the Pipeline: Supply and Demand in the Skilled Trades,” in 2016, 23 percent of the workforce for construction and manufacturing in Oregon were age 55 or older. As the aging trades workforce phases out, opportunities for emerging employees will improve, even without taking into account future industry growth, the report said.
Initial design concepts for the center indicate it will span five acres and include nearly 12,000 square feet of hands-on training space for students enrolled in industrial trades and apprenticeship programs such as electrical, plumbing, millwright, pipefitter, and machinist. Students enrolled in fire sciences and emergency medical operations programs will have a 3,200-square-foot fire training academy for wildland and structural fire instruction.
“The center will be a multi-purpose facility that provides hands-on industrial trade job training that will land graduates in good middle-class jobs,” Gutierrez said. “We look forward to working with community partners in making this vision a reality.”
The State of Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission board voted to approve the grant August 2 at the full commission meeting. The grant is a match grant, which means KCC will have to raise $4 million to receive $4 million in grant funds for the capital project.
KCC Foundation Executive Director Dr. Julie Murray-Jensen said the college is in the process of organizing community members who will determine how to accomplish the vision.
Klamath Community College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Veteran/ADA institution embracing diversity. We encourage and welcome women, minority, veteran, and disabled candidates.