Why the Initiative?
Brazos County and the greater Research Valley is one of the fastest growing markets in the State of Texas without comprehensive career and technical training facilities and programs. The initiative underway is designed to explore all options leading to the rapid expansion of this critical unmet economic development need.
Background and Process
The Research Valley Partnership’s (“the Partnership”) mission is the pursuit of economic growth in Brazos County without regard to municipal boundary.
In June of 2016, the Partnership formed a Talent Pipeline Steering Committee (“the Steering Committee) recognizing the dramatic unmet need of limited career and technical training in Brazos County and the greater Research Valley will inhibit economic growth fundamental to the Partnership’s mission.
The purpose of the Steering Committee is to rapidly expand career and technical training workforce development in Brazos County, Texas. The Steering Committee has broad based community-wide representation. Mr. Andrew Nelson and Mr. Ivan Olson serve as Co-Chairs of the Steering Committee and Mr. Bobby Guiterrez serves as Secretary.
Between June and October of 2016, the Steering Committee has managed a detailed “fact finding” process in the exploration of solutions that accomplish the purpose. These activities have included the commissioning of a study by the Perryman Group regarding current and future workforce demands of the market, the polling of Brazos County registered voters on this matter, and direct engagement with educational service providers. Furthermore, the Steering Committee issued a Request for Proposals to Blinn College, Texas State Technical College, and Texas Engineering Extension Service seeking their response on a comprehensive plan, resources, and timeline.
Concurrent to these activities, the Steering Committee has explored the legalities of addressing this initiative through multiple scenarios to expand educational services. With an approach of keeping all options available, Steering Committee consensus was to proceed with a Letter of Intent filing with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board seeking to form a new community college tax district based in Brazos County.
Why the Letter of Intent?
In order to satisfy Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board procedural requirements keeping this option available to the Steering Committee, a Letter of Intent is being filed affirming the intent of signatories to move forward in the creation of a new community college with Brazos County as the tax district and possibly including Robertson, Madison, and Grimes Counties in the new community college’s service area.
Between October and December 15, 2016, the Steering Committee will continue its fact finding and due diligence in consideration of all options necessary for Brazos County to accomplish the Steering Committee’s purpose.