Clark College’s Corporate and Continuing Education division has changed its name to Clark College Economic and Community Development. It’s a move that Kevin Witte, associate vice president, says better reflects the college’s evolving role in the community and the region.
“The real change is to get into bigger projects with partners,” Witte said. “Now we’re engaging more with other organizations to be one of many contributing players. We wouldn’t have done this five years ago.”
Those partners include The Columbia River Economic Development Council, Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council and Vancouver Housing Authority, among others. Recently, the division worked with the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council to develop a 140-hour accelerated machinist program, he said.
Another goal of the renamed division is to train workers with emerging skills — such as advanced composites and mechatronics (mechanical, electronic and software engineering) — that will be needed in the workforce of tomorrow.
The Economic and Community Development division hopes to build a maker center equipped with tools. Essentially, Witte said, it’s “a gym for people who want to make things, people who are looking to start a business.”