Blue Ridge Community College proved it is prepared for the global economy after it formally opened a new state-of-the-art technology center on Wednesday.
The college that once centered on teaching horticulture unveiled its $1.6 million Technology Education and Development Center (TEDC) on the East Flat Rock Campus.
The TEDC houses computer labs and classrooms to educate students in information systems, computers and Web technologies.
It’s important to have the technological center in Henderson County, Board of Commissioners Chairman Bill Moyer told an audience at the TEDC. He said the facility is essential to the county’s economic development in the midst of a changing global economy.
There is also an increased role for knowledge, innovations and technology to compete and differentiate from other counties and international markets.
Moyer said the message the TEDC is sending is very important – that Henderson County recognizes it’s in a fast-paced global economy.
“To not keep up is to lose, and the price of losing business is extremely high,” Moyer added. “By providing the latest training for our students and workers and staying up with, and ahead of, the latest technologies is the key.”
Henderson County funded the new technological development center.
There are several facilities inside the three-story TEDC that can be used to train people for jobs in the fast-moving technology industry, including a virtual reality center known as the CAVE and a digital media center.
The new center has been in the making for three years, according to BRCC President Molly Parkhill.
“Our college had a vision to have a place where a state-of-the-art technology center could take place,” she said. “We are going to better prepare our students, attract new industries to Henderson County and have a prepared work force.”
There are several resources available for training students at the TEDC.
The Virtual Reality Center will train individuals in a virtual environment with three-dimensional displays. The new 3-D visualization technology will help firefighters and other rescue personnel train in a real-time simulation. The hi-tech learning center will be completed in three to six months.
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