The Southwest Washington Flexible Training (SWFT) Center is a 12,000 square foot facility that houses a variety of equipment and provides training for trades education in our region. This project was made possible by a $1.3 million grant from the TransAlta Coal Transition Board.
This building is the first of its kind in our region. The building has three fully equipped classrooms as well as a large “flexible” space. This space has the ability to house nearly any kind of equipment for a wide variety of industrial training.
The SWFT Center can be seen from Pear Street, near the intersection with King Street.
This building is a part of Centralia College’s vision to address employer demand in our service area. Research by the Lewis County Economic Development Council, Centralia and Chehalis School Districts, and the Washington State Auditor note that local employers are unable to fill mid-level skill openings in the trades. Direct trades education is an important step in fulfilling this need.
However, prior to the SWFT Center, there has been no location on campus, or in the area, to house the type of specialized equipment or shop space employers require for this type of training. That is where the “flexible” portion of the SWFT Center comes in. The large open area in the back of the building has been designed to include a variety of amenities. Employers will be able to schedule time in the SWFT Center to train employees with the necessary equipment and instructors to fit their educational requirements. A rotating schedule of classes will also be run in this large flexible area, depending on local needs.
Some equipment will remain in the building, including a commercial driving simulator, healthcare instruction equipment, and a forestry simulator.
Though the $1.3 million grant from the TransAlta Coal Transition Board has gotten the ball rolling on this project, additional funding is needed. The Foundation is seeking roughly $200K to complete this project to the highest possible level.
Naming opportunities for the building and classroom are also available.
While that may seem like a large figure, every donation gets us closer. Consider a donation to this project to support trades education in southwest Washington!
CONTACT THE FOUNDATION
Centralia College Foundation
600 Centralia College Blvd
Centralia, WA 98531-4099