Wednesday, November 29, 2023

VPCC Set to Open New Trade Center in Toano

Welding is among the programs that will be offered at the new trades center. (VPCC)

HAMPTON — More than 18 months after being awarded a grant for nearly $1.7 million, Virginia Peninsula Community College (VPCC) is nearly ready to unveil its second trade center.

The new location is just off Route 60, at 236 Industrial Blvd. in Toano, upper James City County. The site is owned by David Johnson Builders, which is handling the renovations and offers 7,800 square feet of training space, according to a VPCC press release.

“The space has been leased, and right now the builder is building out that space to meet our needs and should be ready to turn it over to us officially by the end of this December,” said Todd Estes, the College’s interim vice president of Workforce Development. “Our plan is to have that facility open in January 2023, and to be able to deliver our first courses.”

Estes said four programs would be offered there: welding, CNC machining, carpentry, and masonry.

The January open date would mark two years after the college received the money from the United States Department of Labor’s Strengthening Community College training grants program, according to a VPCC press release. The funds had to be used for skilled workforce programs.

The College’s other training site is the Center for Building and Construction Trades at Goodwill in Hampton. It provides approximately 5,000 square feet of training space.

Estes said the College is in discussions with the Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools to use the facility to expand its occupational dual enrollment programs. Discussions are still ongoing, but both sides appear to be enthusiastic about the possibility in the future.

While the majority of the grant money is going toward the Toano facility, the rest of the college also benefits, according to the announcement. The grant money has also assisted the CNC machining on the Hampton campus, along with heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).

For more information about Virginia Peninsula Community College, check out its website.

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