Workforce center opens door to turnaround for post-Harvey Rockport


ROCKPORT – Hurricane Harvey more than three years ago destroyed and severely damaged roughly one in every 10 buildings and homes in Aransas County. 

That’s not all the furious storm marred.

People moved away. Hundreds of them. That led to a shortage of trade workers. The community’s tax base shrank by more than 25 percent in the weeks and months that followed.  

Aransas County Economic Development Corp. and Del Mar College have partnered to revitalize the former Little Bay Primary school, 2000 State Highway 35 North in Rockport, as a workforce development and entrepreneurship center. The facility is expected to open in Spring 2022. The 16,000-square-foot building has sat vacant since Hurricane Harvey struck in August 2017.

Then, the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, further impacting an economy dependent on the tourism industry and the workforce that supports it.

County officials now want to make something bright from the blight. 

The Aransas County Economic Development Corp. and Del Mar College have partnered to convert portion of the former Little Bay Primary School, at 2000 State Highway 35 North in Rockport, into a workforce development and entrepreneurship center.

The center is slated to open in Spring 2022. Turner Ramirez Architects, of Corpus Christi, designed it. County officials anticipate opening bids for the construction in January. 

Press conference attendees Oct. 7, 2021. Aransas County Economic Development Corp. and Del Mar College have partnered to revitalize the former Little Bay Primary school, 2000 State Highway 35 North in Rockport, as a workforce development and entrepreneurship center. The 16,000-squaure-foot building has sat vacant since Hurricane Harvey struck in August 2017.

“(A) workforce development is on the top of the workplan list of improvements for our community, and this facility will be the answer many businesses have been wanting over the years,” said Diane Probst, president/CEO of the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce. “Now, we will need strong collaboration to get the course offerings and enrollment in place.

“We are excited to assist in making this next step happen for our business community.”



Source link