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For Immediate Release
Contact: Zina L. Carter  979-532-6417


Officials dedicate new Bay City Technical Training Center

WCJC students Jessie Austin, center, and B.J. Mower, right, show WCJC President Betty McCrohan some of the equipment in the new Bay City Technical Training Center. Constructed adjacent to WCJC’s Bay City Campus, the facility will train students in welding, machining and other aspects of Manufacturing Technology.

WCJC President Betty McCrohan presents a plaque of appreciation to Tenaris North America President Germán Curá during the recent open house and dedication ceremony for the new Bay City Technical Training Center. WCJC, Tenaris, the Bay City Community Development Corporation and several other entities collaborated on the project.

Elected officials, business leaders and college representatives gathered recently to dedicate the Bay City Community Development Corporation’s (BCCDC) new Technical Training Center, located at the Center for Energy Development in Bay City.

The center – officially dedicated on Oct. 29 – will be utilized by Wharton County Junior College as part of its Manufacturing Technology program. Students enrolled in the program learn such cutting-edge disciplines as welding, fabrication and machining.

The BCCDC collaborated with several entities on the design and construction of the $1.2 million structure. The BCCDC provided the bulk of the funding for the building while Tenaris – a leading global manufacturer and supplier of steel pipe products and related services for the world’s oil and gas industry – contributed $575,000 for the purchase of the facility’s specialized equipment. Other groups contributing to the project included LyondellBasell, South Texas Nuclear Project, Celanese Corporation, Oxea Corporation and WCJC.

Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald said the facility will have a dynamic impact on the surrounding community by providing technical training needed for gainful employment.

“Education is the cornerstone of the community and that’s what we want to focus on here in Matagorda County,” McDonald said during the Oct. 29 ceremony.

Tenaris North America President Germán Curá said the project was part of his company’s commitment to the county.

“This is the first of many (similar projects),” Curá noted. “We’re not going to stop here.”

WCJC President Betty McCrohan thanked Tenaris for their support and agreed that the two entities will continue to collaborate in the future.

“This is a momentous occasion,” McCrohan said. “We want this (relationship) to grow and move forward.”

Students enrolled in the Manufacturing Technology program provided a tour of the new facility during the open house event. First-year WCJC student Sylvia Ducros said the program has been an eye-opener, one that’s helped her develop a greater interest in gears, motors and other aspects of manufacturing and machining.

“I didn’t know what to expect but it’s been great,” the Wharton resident said.

As a full-time employee at a healthcare laboratory, Ducros said she was looking for a new career – one that focused on something more positive than sickness and infection.

“I wanted to do something where I could build and create,” she said. “I absolutely love this.”

That’s music to the ears of Rudolph Henry, WCJC’s Manufacturing Technology Program Director and Director of Nuclear Power Technology. Henry held a front-row seat in the development of the curriculum for the program and has worked hand in hand with Tenaris and other industries to ensure students are getting the most up-do-date training possible.

Henry said the program – which kicked off this semester – is designed to provide students with the “flexibility” to immediately transition to the workforce or to pursue additional certifications and specialties in related fields.

The overall purpose, he said, is to develop a “qualified, professional” worker who can “address industry’s demand for specialized technicians.”

During the open house, Tenaris officials presented Henry with an award for his efforts.

“We would not be here without the dedication and passion of Rudolph Henry,” said Tenaris community relations coordinator, USA Courtney Stevens.

Tenaris is a leading global manufacturer and supplier of steel pipe products and related services for the world’s energy industry and other industrial applications. Our customers include most of the world’s leading oil and gas companies and our revenues amounted to $10.3 billion in 2014. Employing around 27,800 people worldwide, we operate an integrated network of steel pipe manufacturing, research, finishing and service facilities with industrial operations in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa and a direct presence in most major oil and gas markets. www.tenaris.com.

Wharton County Junior College is a Texas public, two-year, comprehensive community college offering a wide range of postsecondary educational programs and services including associate degrees, certificates, continuing education courses, cultural affairs and leisure-time activities for the benefit of the community and a population of students that varies in age, background and ability. WCJC operates campuses in Wharton, Sugar Land, Richmond and Bay City with a student population of around 7,400.

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