STLCC Announces Plans for New Corporate Center

By on October 20, 2010
New Corporate Center Exterior

St. Louis Community College plans to open the new STLCC Corporate Center, building upon the services it provides to the St. Louis area’s business and professional community. The center, formerly known as the Marcasco Building, is located at 3221 McKelvey Road in northwest St. Louis County.

“One of St. Louis Community College’s three strategic directions is to respond more quickly to workforce needs, and this is our response to that strategic direction – to be able to turn on a dime to meet those training needs that businesses have,” said Chancellor Zelema Harris. “In 2005, college leaders decided we needed a separate facility to meet the workforce demands and training needs in that particular area. We’ve been working for years with businesses, with labor, but we’ve never really been in the white collar market. This facility will give us a chance to provide those knowledge workers the kind of training they need.”

The college plans a phased move-in. Initial plans call for classrooms, a multi-function space, breakout rooms, a testing center, computer labs, reception area and offices.

“This is a high-traffic corridor in close proximity to labor pools in north and west St. Louis County, as well as St. Charles County,” said Rod Nunn, the college’s vice chancellor for workforce and community development. “There are 1,648 businesses, primarily small and non-manufacturing, in the area surrounding the center. They employ nearly 223,200 workers, many of whom live outside the STLCC service area.

“As the economy rebounds, STLCC must be ready to fill the void in corporate training created by the recession,” Nunn said. “This center represents an important piece in the array of services that the college must offer to support the economic development of our region and the future viability and growth of the college. At this facility, we will offer solutions to prepare unemployed workers for a very different labor market and help underemployed individuals obtain the skills needed to become knowledge workers.”

The STLCC Corporate Center will:

  • Partner with the campuses to develop dynamic, flexible course delivery and customized corporate degree and certificate programs.
  • Work with the campuses to create direct pathways to STLCC academic programs.
  • Offer new programs aimed at small businesses and entrepreneurship.
  • Include a small business incubator to support firms employing middle-skill graduates from STLCC career and technical programs.
  • House the college’s Workforce and Community Development division, which has provided customized training and other services to the St. Louis region and state for nearly 30 years.

“We value our many partnerships with St. Louis Community College. Its new Corporate Center will explore innovative ideas and best practices as well as a variety of other important workforce solutions that will help spur economic growth and competiveness in the region,” said Denny Coleman, president and CEO of the St. Louis County Economic Council.

“BJC’s Center for LifeLong Learning has successfully partnered with STLCC to customize a cohort program for a respiratory therapy degree program,” said JoAnn Shaw, vice president and chief learning officer for BJC Healthcare. “We are extremely pleased with the flexibility of STLCC and their desire to help us create workforce programs that are creative and innovative. We look forward to a strong, continuing and successful partnership.”

Guided by the 2005 Districtwide Facility Plan and as part of a capital improvements recommendation for the Missouri Department of Higher Education in 2009, the college’s request for a corporate training/workforce development center received a high priority ranking from the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education. It was recommended by CBHE for consideration by Gov. Nixon for state funding. Due to the weak economy, no capital improvement projects were funded at that time.

The college was able to take advantage of a favorable real estate market and purchase this 150,000-square-foot facility for $5.5 million, which originally listed for $12 million in 2009.

“Going forward, the college should not rely solely on the state’s investment in infrastructure to secure our future,” said Carla Chance, the college’s vice chancellor for finance and business services. “The college’s long-term financial health and ability to meet the needs of this community and its work force will result from entrepreneurial thinking, careful planning and wise investments.”

With two-thirds of the facility currently leased to other businesses that will likely remain as tenants, the revenue generated should offset operating expenses.

Originally published in the St. Louis Community College Newsroom at http://www.stlcc.edu/Newsroom/2010/10/News8.html.

About Richard Schumacher

Richard Schumacher is the technology manager for the Workforce Solutions Group of St. Louis Community College. He connects, designs, and applies technology to meet business user needs with eLearning, training, web content, instructional design, IT system, and performance improvement solutions. Richard is a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) and has held Microsoft Certifications since 1993. Learn more about Richard by following him: LinkedIn - Twitter - Google+ - Articles - Email

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