CSPDC representatives are supporting Buena Vista (BV) efforts to secure a $1M DHCD Community Economic Development program grant to leverage other funding sources to renovate a former Courtesy Ford dealership building in BV’s designated Opportunity Zone. The approximately $5.3M+ project will transform the 18,750 square foot facility into the Mountain Gateway Community College (MGCC) Wilson Workforce Development Center. When finished, the center will train students for in-demand jobs such as: HVAC, building trades, electrical, plumbing, industrial technology, precision machining, welding, diesel mechanics, and CDLs. These employment fields are included in the State’s FastForward program, which provides tuition assistance to students training for in-demand jobs.
MGCC officials expect to grow their ability to deliver workforce training by 200% and see enrollment rise by at least 120%. In addition, the center is estimated to assist with creating or retaining 110 jobs and spawn $2M in private investment in the region. The initial phase of the renovation project is planned for later this calendar year with an estimate to begin classes for the Fall 2024 semester. Other funding sources include: the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the MGCC Real Estate Foundation, and the City of Buena Vista.