October 18, 2016
The Blinn College Board of Trustees approved a 20-year tenancy lease with the Economic Development Foundation of Brenham regarding the A.W. Hodde, Jr., Technical Education Center at its regular meeting Tuesday night.
The lease calls for a $0 base rent and provides Blinn the option to purchase the property at a future date for $1. The lease begins upon completion of the building.
Blinn has agreed to handle daily operations of the new 7,200-square-foot facility as an extension of the Hodde Center, saving administrative costs and expanding the training capacity of the Hodde Center, located in the Brenham Business Park at 2910 South Blue Bell Road. The new space will include a multi-purpose classroom, a multi-purpose lab, and a welding lab.
In 2015, the Brenham EDF was awarded a $1.35 million grant to expand the Hodde Center, adding a second building to the facility that will allow Blinn to expand its career and technical training programs for local job seekers. Using this new space, Blinn will develop new programs to support the high skill/high growth occupations in the region, including industrial machinery mechanics, commercial truck driving, and heavy equipment operation. To support truck drivers and heavy equipment operators, a program in diesel engine mechanics also will be developed.
In addition to the funds provided through the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s 2015 Economic Development Assistance Programs, Blinn pledged $50,000 in funding and $50,000 in equipment. Brenham Community Development Corp. pledged $250,000 and land valued at $100,000, and Washington County commissioners committed $50,000.
Blinn’s Hodde Center offers a variety of career development and leadership courses as well as programs and courses in computers, health professions, manufacturing, welding and safety. Blinn improves the local economy by helping job-seekers obtain the skills and credentials they need to succeed in the workplace, and by partnering with local businesses to offer training opportunities for incumbent and new employees. For more information on Blinn’s career and technical course offerings, visit www.blinn.edu/workforce.