RED OAK — Texas State Technical College officials have announced the creation of TSTC North Texas, an extension center of TSTC Marshall at Red Oak operating in partnership with the Red Oak Independent School District.

The new extension center will be in a position to serve the citizens of Ellis County and the greater Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area.

TSTC North Texas is the result of a bill (HB 3640) that passed through the legislative process receiving approval from both the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate as a result of a community initiative to enhance the growing workforce-development needs in Ellis County.

Specifically, the bill introduced by Rep. Jim Pitts and sponsored by Sen. Brian Birdwell, authorizes the creation of an extension center of TSTC in the city of Red Oak.

SB1, the General Appropriations Act, provides new state funding for TSTC to support the creation of the center. These bills became effective upon signature by the Governor on June 14.

“The progressive work and foresight of the citizens of Ellis County is quite remarkable,” said Michael L. Reeser, chancellor of the Texas State Technical College system. “They recognize that, in 10 years, fully one in three jobs will require some type of post secondary technical education of two years or less, and they are preparing for that reality today. Clearly Rep. Jim Pitts and Sen. Brian Birdwell and the many legislators who supported this bill see the value of a TSTC extension center in Ellis County and have done the work to enable this process,” Reeser added.

“Our team of leaders stands ready to serve alongside of the leadership of Red Oak ISD to fuel the growing workforce needs of our state,” said Randy Wooten, president of TSTC Marshall. “As an extension of TSTC Marshall, TSTC North Texas at Red Oak will be yet one more testament to the value of collaboration and partnerships with community, industry and the education sector.”

“Red Oak ISD sees this partnership as an extension of our responsibility to prepare students for post-secondary success in college, technical school or the workforce,” said Dr. Scott Niven, Red Oak ISD superintendent.” “This opportunity will create new pathways for success benefitting both our students and students across the North Texas region.”

“The growth in population over the past 10 years in Ellis County, and the entire North Texas region, has been nothing short of incredible,” said Texas State Rep. Jim Pitts. “TSTC having a significant presence in our area will provide the job-related training and workforce development necessary for today’s economy, and will attract businesses and job creation. I see this extension center as an incredible economic development opportunity and a critical investment in the future of our community. It was an honor to work with Chancellor Reeser, Superintendent Niven and Sen. Birdwell to make this a reality.”

Initially, programs in the areas of industrial maintenance, electronics, information technology, transportation and engineering technology will be offered at an existing Red Oak ISD facility. At the same time, plans will be made to construct new facilities to house the center.

Classes could start as early as spring 2014.

About TSTC

Texas State Technical College (TSTC), established in 1965, ranks consistently as top among colleges in the state and nation for conferring associate degrees in engineering, precision production, computer information systems degrees, communication and information sciences, and enrollment of Hispanic students.

TSTC is a public coeducational institution of higher education offering courses of study in technical education leading to the award of certificates and associate degrees.

TSTC also provides technical education and training to business and industry, continuing education to the public, and training programs for community and state economic development. TSTC colleges are located in Harlingen, Marshall, Waco and West Texas with campuses in Abilene, Brownwood, Breckenridge and Sweetwater.