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BCC's New STEM Annex Boosts High-Tech Careers
April 24, 2012, Brevard County, FL – If you want a good job in a growing field, here’s the roadmap:
Study science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — and the door will open to a promising, high-paying future.
Brevard Community College has increased its commitment to enhance those careers — and the Space Coast economy along with them — with the April 24 grand opening of its new STEM Annex on the Cocoa Campus.
The 8,500-square foot facility, which contains two classrooms and four specialized labs, is tailored to educate students in emerging industries and provide customized training for employees at Brevard companies.
For example, the faculty is in the process of training about 170 employees of Brazilian jet-maker Embraer in the fundamentals of aviation maintenance as the firm continues to expand its operations at Melbourne International Airport.
In all, BCC’s Corporate Services program has trained about 2,500 STEM workers for 44 companies and agencies the past five years in fields including aerospace, aviation, computers, biomedicine and manufacturing.
“The goal of our new STEM building could not be more important nor come at a more critical time for our community," said BCC President, Dr. Jim Richey.
“We want to prepare our students for jobs in the fastest-growing, high-technology fields in the Brevard and Florida economies — indeed, in the global economy — and to work closely with local businesses to make certain they have the best workforce anywhere.
“That makes the College’s science, technology, engineering and math programs central elements in helping Brevard’s rebounding economy, and makes the STEM building a new focal point in that effort.”
Studies show the value of a STEM education and how demand is far outstripping the supply of STEM graduates in the U.S. and Florida.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers has found that engineering diplomas account for 12 of the 15 top-paying majors, with graduates in computer sciences earning an average salary of $61,400.
However, a 2011 report from Florida Governor Rick Scott reported that less than 20 percent of Florida university graduates will earn a STEM degree. It also found the rate of STEM graduates will not fill the estimated 120,000 high-tech jobs created in Florida by 2018.
BCC’s new STEM annex is geared to address those concerns by inspiring students to enter STEM fields and give those already in the workforce new skills, Richey said.
Among the highlights of the customized workforce training are no-cost consultation, tailored curriculum, flexible schedules and certificates of completion.
As a result, Richey said the $1.5 million facility can serve as a magnet to help attract more companies to Brevard.
“This facility gives the College the ability to react quickly to fast-changing economic and workforce needs, and contribute to the cycle of business success,” he said.
“That’s shown by our worker-training partnership with Embraer, which recently announced it would base its first North American engineering and design center at the Melbourne airport. That new center, in turn, could draw more companies and workers to Brevard — workers that BCC’s STEM programs and this facility could also help educate and train.”
The April 24 grand opening included statements of support from community and business leaders as well as tours of the facility.For more information, contact Frank Margiotta, Executive Director of Technical and Professional Training, at 321-433-7515 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brevard Community College is committed to engaging our diverse
population in quality, affordable, accessible learning opportunities which
successfully meet individual and community needs.