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Former Blinn student uniquely positioned to see College’s impact on Washington County

Wesley Brinkmeyer attended Blinn’s Brenham and Bryan campuses

Wesley Brinkmeyer As a former Blinn College student, Wesley Brinkmeyer knows the difference Blinn makes in the lives of its students.
As chairman of the board for the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, he knows the difference Blinn makes to the local economy.

“The economic impact of the College cannot be overstated,” he said. “It is not only one of the largest employers in the area, but it is a depositor of talent. Students come in from all over to come to Blinn-Brenham and live here, and that’s talent that benefits the community. … It’s a great opportunity for local businesses to pick up great talent and keep it in the community.”

A recent study found that Blinn makes a $345.3 million impact on the local economy each year, including $239.5 million in added income by former students employed in the regional workforce and an $83 million annual impact in Brenham.

The study also found that students receive a 14.2 percent annual rate of return on their investment in a Blinn education.

Brinkmeyer studied at both the Brenham and Bryan campuses and returned to Brenham after graduating from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Now the manager of energy services at Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, Brinkmeyer discovered his passion for public service while attending Blinn, and his instructors and advisors pointed him toward courses that fueled this interest.

“The small class sizes and personal attention of Blinn’s instructors convinced me to take classes that I would have never dreamed of if I went straight to A&M,” Brinkmeyer said. “Blinn allowed me to engage more in the classes and I also became heavily involved in the student government at both campuses.”

Brinkmeyer served as vice president on both the Brenham and Bryan campuses but the projects on both locations were very different.

“On the Bryan campus we really tried to get the students to engage outside the classroom,” Brinkmeyer said. “In Brenham, students were engaged with each other but we encouraged them to get out in the community.”

The enjoyment that came from the student government groups inspired Brinkmeyer to major in political science. He stills uses his political science background in his position with the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, which is committed to promoting a positive economic impact and quality of life while preserving the natural beauty and rich heritage of the county.

“The chamber is both proactive and reactive,” Brinkmeyer said. “We put together a plan to help displaced workers and put together an aggressive “buy local” campaign to help local businesses.”

Brinkmeyer serves on the advisory board for the A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center after helping to found the 12,000-square foot center in 2009. As part of Blinn’s Division of Workforce Education, the Hodde Center works in cooperation with local businesses to provide a well-trained workforce that strengthens the local economy.

“Wes has been instrumental in our recovery efforts to support recently laid-off workers and in gathering support for our recently-awarded grant from the Economic Development Administration,” said David Yeager, Hodde Center director.
Brinkmeyer resides in Brenham with his wife and two young children.

About Blinn College
A comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement, Blinn College has served its 13-county Central Texas region since 1883. With an enrollment of 19,317 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence.

Blinn offers job seekers the skills and credentials they need to succeed in the region’s fast-growing industries, and partners with local businesses to provide skills development training for incumbent employees. Each year, Blinn programs and students make a $345.3 million impact on the local economy.

For more information about Blinn College and exciting student success initiatives such as Destination Success: First-Year Focus and the Blinn TEAM Program, visit www.blinn.edu or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

AUDIO – Wesley Brinkmeyer, Chairman of the Board for the Washington County Chamber of Commerce