TBCC Expands Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Programs | New
Tillamook Bay Community College (TBCC) recently completed the purchase of the old Mechtronics building on Third Street in Tillamook. The building, which is across from the college’s main campus, will house the Manufacturing and Industrial Technology (MIT) programs.
“The Mechtronics space fully meets the needs of our manufacturing and industrial technology programs,” said TBCC President Ross Tomlin. “This gives us the opportunity not only to expand the curricula and course offerings, but also to add additional technical programs in the near future. “
MIT programs have lived at Tillamook High School in a facility shared with the high school program since 2009. Space has been saturated for both schools for some time.
“We are continuing our relationship with Tillamook High School,” said Tomlin. “They need space to develop their labs, and we need space to develop our labs, so it works equally well for both of us. This new space allows us to add labs and extra classes that we couldn’t complete in high school.
For Ed and Eileen Seeger, who built Mechtronics from scratch 26 years ago, the sale of the building was about ensuring their space was still used by the community in a meaningful way.
“The hardest part [about running our business] was always looking for quality employees, ”said Ed Seeger. “Knowing how to turn an adjustable wrench was not enough; we needed people trained in specific skills. There is a huge need for something like this in the community to provide a high quality education, and we are delighted that the college is leading the way in this regard, and will continue to put this place to good use.
“Education has been a huge motivation for us,” added Eileen Seeger. “It really is the key to a thriving community. “
TBCC Education Board Chair Kathy Gervasi added, “It was a wonderful opportunity for our neighbors across the street to collaborate with us at TBCC. This improvement to our physical campus is in addition to our program offerings, and that’s what the community college is. “
TBCC continues to grow and expand its technical career programs that meet the needs of the community. More recently, they have added degrees in agricultural technology and health care administration.
“Any growth requires equipment, space for that equipment, and space for students,” said Tomlin. “The advantage of having our own building is that we can add courses and equipment as needed. “
Most recently, TBCC added a brand new CNC machine, thanks to a donation from Stimson Lumber and the Stimson Miller Foundation. The Hass Mini Mill is expected to enter service in the spring of 2021 and the college will be able to provide comprehensive training relevant to many manufacturing companies in the county.
“Technical and Vocational Education (CTE) is a clear direction the college wants to take over the next few years to provide the right training for well-paying jobs right here in Tillamook County,” added Tomlin. “We will continue to develop more CTE programs as we see the needs of the community. “
The purchase of the building was supported by generous donations from Janet Riedel, board member of the TBCC Foundation, and the Loren E Parks Trust. The college submitted a grant for the renovation of the building. The rest of the purchase money will come from the timber tax reserve funds.