Butte College celebrated the grand opening of its new Skyway Center, 2480 Notre Dame, Chico, was on August 18, 2012. The facility includes the College's automotive technology program, economic workforce development programs such as the Training Place/Contract Education, Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Health Workforce Initiative, and the Foster/Kinship Care Education program. In addition, the building offers a new high school automotive technology program in partnership with the Butte County Regional Occupational Program (ROP).
“Having a one-stop location at the Skyway Center for the Small Business Development Center, Training Place/Contract Education, Health Workforce Initiative and Foster-Kinship Care Program makes it much easier for the community to access these services,” said Dr. Kimberly Perry, Butte College president. “It also made good business sense for the college since many of the economic workforce development programs rented space at different locations in Chico.”
Kicking off the day’s activities was a ribbon cutting ceremony with Butte College President Dr. Kimberly Perry, College board of trustees, College administrators, and community members. The day included guided tours, light refreshments, live music, a car show, and a barbecue lunch that was available for purchase. The first 200 attendees will received free commemorative Skyway Center items.
Previously, the College’s automotive technology program, which trains students to gain employment as auto technicians, had outgrown the space it occupied at the main campus in Oroville. Relocating to the Skyway Center allowed the automotive program to expand into a 22,662 square foot area which includes an auto shop lab with two “smart” classrooms, a computer lab, locker rooms, storage space, and offices. The automotive area is Green Repair Certified and contains 15 auto lifts, two alignment racks, three smog machines, two smog dynamometers, and new work benches built by Butte College welding students and Weiss-McNair. Students will receive instruction in automotive industry sustainable practices, including hybrid technology and hydrogen propulsion. There was also space to create a new partnership to offer a new high school automotive technology program in partnership with the Butte County Regional Occupational Program (ROP).
The remainder of the building houses economic workforce development programs and offers 29,338 square feet. This space includes 7 “smart” classrooms, 2 conference rooms, open office space, work rooms, offices, storage areas, audio visual technology, and data/communications equipment. The finished building features an entirely new exterior skin, 20,000 square feet of new interior concrete flooring, high efficiency heating and cooling systems, high speed internet with WIFI, a new parking lot and site improvements, and future photovoltaic panel capabilities.
“The College’s economic workforce development programs offer a variety of services to the business community. The Training Place/Contract Education offers employee training to businesses of all sizes, the Health Workforce Initiative provides training to meet the needs of the health care industry, the Small Business Development Center offers business assistance for small business owners and entrepreneurs in Butte, Glenn and Tehama Counties, and the Foster/Kinship Care Education Program provides support for care providers or those interested in becoming foster parents or guardians,” said Linda Zorn, Butte College Health Workforce Initiative Director.
Chico Redevelopment Agency funding of $5.8 million was used to purchase and renovate the 1984 building, which was formerly the Austin's Furniture Store. Renovation work to the 52,000 square foot metal building began in May 2011.
“We invite the public to come and tour our new automotive facility. We are also hosting the first-ever Student Ritz Car and Bike Show featuring volunteer judges from local car clubs for Best of Show, Best Old School, Ain’t Pretty but She Runs, Best Paint, Best Metric Bike, and Best US Bike and it will be a lot of fun,” said George Medina, Butte College Automotive Chair.
The Butte College Training Place was established to deliver affordable employee training to businesses of all sizes in areas including: Health, International Trade, Human Resources, Leadership, Customer Service, Employee Development, Manufacturing, Sales, Safety, Sexual Harassment Prevention, and Business Technology. Workshops are designed to provide performance improvement solutions which will assist the community in economic development, sustainability, and growth.
The Butte College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers one-stop business management assistance through one-on-one counseling, entrepreneur training, referrals and a wide variety of information and guidance to small business owners and entrepreneurs in Butte, Glenn and Tehama Counties.
The Health Workforce Initiative provides education and training programs to meet emerging demands for health care industry workers; to determine needs, facilitate development of innovative solutions and to locate resources to implement planned responses; to evaluate and initialize health-related educational programs.
The Butte College Foster/Kinship Care Education Program provides training for foster parents and kinship care providers to meet the needs of youth and families for licensing and continuing education requirements by the state and counties.