VC to train Caterpillar employees in new training facility

Building at 1404 N. Liberty

At a special meeting Wednesday, Victoria College’s Board of Trustees approved the purchase of a building near downtown Victoria that will house specialized industrial skills training for new Caterpillar employees.

The 7,200 square foot building, located at 1404 N. Liberty Street and formerly used by the Elder Distributing Company, will be purchased for $200,000, or $27.78 per square foot. It will primarily house training for employees hired to work at the new Caterpillar hydraulic excavator manufacturing facility in Victoria, but may also be used in the future for other specialized skills training.

In addition to logistics training where Caterpillar employees will learn to work in a mock-warehouse setup using forklifts, the space will also house training facilities for welding, assembly and machining.

Representatives from VC and Caterpillar have been working together for months to coordinate details regarding training for the new Caterpillar employees.

“We’ve visited other colleges in communities where Caterpillar is located to determine what type of training and facilities would be needed,” said Jennifer Yancey, VC’s vice president of college advancement and external affairs.

When VC began looking for the appropriate space to use for this specialized training, square footage was an important requirement, said Larry Garrett, VC’s executive director of institutional planning and special projects.

“We knew that in order to meet the immediate training needs of Caterpillar, we needed somewhere around 10,000 square feet that could have a flexible configuration,” Garrett said. “This building is one large open space that we can set up any way we want to, and it requires only minimal renovation.”

Garrett also said that a portable building may also be brought to the property to use as classroom space.

VC administrators anticipate that the building will be ready for use sometime in April after refurbishing restrooms, upgrading the building’s electrical power and setting up equipment.

In the meantime, logistics training for the first round of new Caterpillar employees will begin the week of Feb. 27 and will be held on campus at VC and at the Caterpillar facility.

Currently, this training is only being offered to Caterpillar employees.

“At some point, we will be developing courses for individuals who want to work in the manufacturing industry,” said Sherri Pall, director of workforce and continuing education at VC.


posted on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012 by Katy Long

Published: Thursday, 23 February 2012

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