THE DALLES – Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) is pleased to announce Google as the latest contributor to a new, multi-million-dollar workforce training skills center currently under construction at CGCC’s main campus in The Dalles.
The training center will prepare students for emerging technical fields and house two new educational programs, Construction Technologies and Advanced Manufacturing, which will begin to welcome students in the fall term. Google’s $55,000 grant will provide the latest additive manufacturing technology that students will use to create customized components and new inventions in a new, collaborative makerspace.
The company’s gift to CGCC allows the college to equip the makerspace with a 3D-printer, laser engraver, water cutter, milling machine, studio system furnace and other equipment that will prepare students for the future of the construction and manufacturing industries.
These technologies, coupled with digital design programs in the skill center’s state-of-the-art computer lab, will allow students to create customized components and new designs.
“These offerings will not only benefit our students, but as we grow, CGCC will start to offer community education classes in the skill center as well,” said Dylan McManus, director of the college’s library and learning commons, who is leading the makerspace development.
“Oregon is known for innovative and high-quality manufacturing, and with this new skill center we will provide the growing tech economy with graduates trained to meet the demands of our changing world,” McManus added.
“Google’s investment in the makerspace allows us to offer the latest, cutting-edge technologies in the growing field of additive manufacturing,” said CGCC president Dr. Marta Yera Cronin. “We are excited by this latest project with Google, which is such a vital part of our community.”
As home of the company’s first-ever data center, Google has been part of The Dalles community since 2006 and employs more than 200 Mid-Columbia residents. Since 2009, Google.org has awarded over $14 million in grants to nonprofits and organizations in the region and across Oregon in areas such as STEM education, economic advancement and internet access.
“This type of project can create real opportunities for students at a time when the job market and economy are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic,” said Kate Franko, Regional Director of External Affairs for Google’s data centers in The Dalles. “We’re very proud to support Columbia Gorge Community College as it helps build a new, advanced workforce.”
Along with the new workforce training skills center, CGCC is building affordable student housing on its main campus. The combined $16 million project is slated to be completed in July. The Oregon Legislature, City of The Dalles, Wasco County, Port of The Dalles, Gilliam County and Sherman County are also providing critical support the project. A ribbon-cutting celebration and building tours for the skills center and student residential hall will be held in September, just before the fall term begins.
A live webcam of the projects is available here.