U.S. economic agency invests $3 million in SWOCC

FOR IMMEDIATE  RELEASE   

COOS BAY, OR   
RELEASE DATE: August 29, 2017   
CONTACT: Elise Hamner   
PHONE: 541-888-7211  
E-MAIL: elise.hamner@socc.edu

U.S. economic agency invests $3 million in SWOCC

COOS BAY – The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) on Monday awarded Southwestern Oregon Community College a $3 million grant for the Health & Science Technology Building project.

“These improvements to the Southwestern Oregon Community College workforce training facilities will help local workers gain the skills employers in the region need to compete and thrive,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in the announcement.

The federal economic development funds will help pay for building construction, which will include 33,000 sq. feet of modern labs for science, health and nursing programs, along with technology-rich classrooms and a lecture hall.

“Our college has dreamed about this building for two decades and the EDA investment makes this dream a reality for our community,” said Southwestern President Dr. Patty Scott. “Our future students and regional employers will feel the positive impact for many decades.”

The college and regional employers worked together to quantify the project’s impact on job growth and private investment in the funding request to U.S. EDA. They estimate over the next decade the project will lead to creation of nearly 250 jobs, help employers retain 600 jobs, and generate $5 million in private investment. With additional space and modern labs, the college will expand enrollment and add new industry-needed training programs, which has not been possible in the current small, 50-year-old facilities.

“The new facility at SWOCC will be a tremendous resource for our area’s rural communities by creating more skilled medical professionals and expanding the educational and training opportunities provided to the South Coast’s students,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio, who visited the college campus Monday and announced the award.

The college is moving forward with Opsis Architecture of Portland and HGE Inc. of Coos Bay on the building’s design. Groundbreaking on the Coos Bay campus is scheduled in early 2018, and the building is to be completed in late 2019.

Photo cutline: Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) visited with Southwestern Oregon Community College President Dr. Patty Scott on Monday, Aug. 28, announcing the college received a $3 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for the Health & Science Technology Building project.

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About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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