(FORT BEND) – House Bill 658 passed the Senate by a unanimous vote on Tuesday, authorizing Texas State Technical College’s small extension program in Fort Bend County to expand to a full campus. With the governor’s signature, the bill will be effective immediately.
The bill was co-authored in the Texas House of Representatives by Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond; Rep. Rick Miller, R-Sugar Land; Rep. Ron Reynolds, D-Missouri City; Rep. Phil Stephenson, R-Wharton; and Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson, R-Waco. The bill was sponsored in the Texas Senate by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham and will allow TSTC in Fort Bend County to better serve the larger Houston region.
Fort Bend County is one of the fastest-growing counties in Texas. This growth has created the need for welders, plumbers, HVAC technicians and other trades for which TSTC offers programs.
“The community support has been tremendous,” said TSTC Chancellor, Michael L. Reeser. “Between area businesses, local governments, economic development corporations and foundations, the region has pledged about $40 million. A community investment of this magnitude is unprecedented for TSTC and it means that the campus in Fort Bend County will start at a much larger scale than otherwise would have been possible.”
Reeser continued, “We value the relationships that brought us to the region and look forward to expanding our presence here.”
TSTC is well known in many parts of Texas for its affordable tuition and its impressive track record of teaching job-related skills that qualify graduates for well-paying jobs.
The TSTC Extension Center in Fort Bend County opened in 2001 as a partnership with Wharton County Junior College. Currently, TSTC offers Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Diesel Equipment Technology, Mechanical Engineering and Machining at the WCJC Fort Bend Technical Center.
Last month, TSTC unveiled plans to build a permanent campus in Fort Bend County following requests from area residents to increase its course offerings in the area. The initial plans call for two buildings totalling approximately 150,000 square feet of space. Ultimately, the campus will have the capacity to support 4,000 to 5,000 students annually.
TSTC will break ground for Building I in June, and plans to open for classes in the fall of 2016. This first building will allow TSTC to increase its offerings to include Industrial Maintenance, Welding, Computer Networking and System Administration, Network Security and Telecommunications Technology.
Offerings will expand further when Building II opens in the fall of 2017. Offerings for this building may include Biomedical Equipment Technology, Instrumentation, Robotics, Electrical Power & Controls and Occupational Safety & Environmental Compliance Technology.
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