Despite the snow that blanketed the region last week, construction of Virginia Western Community College’s new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Facility is progressing at a rapid pace. In the past two weeks, steel beams were installed, giving passersby an idea of the size of what will become the largest building on Virginia Western’s campus.

The STEM Facility will be over 72,000-square feet and feature engineering fabrication, mechatronics, computer, organic chemistry and biotechnology labs along with new classrooms to promote collaborative and interactive STEM learning. The $30-million plus project is slated to be completed by Spring Semester 2019.

“Now more than ever, the Roanoke Region is poised for economic growth in STEM and healthcare-related industries,” President Robert H. Sandel said at a July 2017 groundbreaking ceremony. “This modern learning environment will give our students the technological tools and hands-on training to become leaders in the workforce and drive continued growth.”

Virginia Western is serving the needs of the local economy by growing and developing STEM programs in partnership with businesses that need a highly trained workforce. Companies coming into the region such as Ballast Point Brewery, Deschutes Brewery and Italian auto parts manufacturer Eldor Corporation are seeking graduates who possess the certified skills and problem-solving ability to make their processes efficient.

“We are listening to industry needs and tailoring our programs so we can best serve businesses and our students, who are seeking strong careers in the region,” said Amy White, Dean of STEM. “The creation of this cutting-edge STEM Facility coincides perfectly with the local growth in these high-demand jobs.”

To find out more about Virginia Western’s STEM programs, visit www.virginiawestern.edu/academics or call (855) 874-6690.