By Karen Daniels
For residents of Stafford and Missouri City (and Houston) on Super Tuesday one of the items on the ballot citizens will vote on will be the $425 million bond program for Houston Community College. Of that money, the Southwest Colleges which consists of Stafford, Missouri City, and Alief, will divide $28 million for various projects.
The Missouri City campus will become an incubator for small businesses and add some aesthetics like plants and a walking track. For Stafford, the plan is to invest in a workforce amenity. This means, mechanics, plumbing, cosmetology, all of which are very important, but are offered at other campuses.
At a recent HCC Board meeting, Mayor Scarcella, spoke about thinking high-tech when it came to future training at the Stafford campus. He explained that Stafford, Texas, is known for valve manufacturing used in the energy sector. The Mayor said, “Stafford has the jobs to fill, but not the people to fill them.” He wants HCC to “elevate the work force” and train students to work in this field that will earn higher wages. At the meeting, after Mayor Scarcella was finished speaking, he said that none of the board members had a response to his request.
Much of the bond project will be used to make more programs available to more students. Education is money well spent, but it also has to do with how that money is spent. Out of the nine campuses in the Houston Community College system, Stafford has “more students on a continual basis than any other campus, Central campus included.” The Mayor doesn’t know which way this vote will go and said, “it’s a close call.” If it passes, you can count that Mayor Scarcella will keep a close eye on the project, but the public is also welcome to attend their Thursday afternoon board meetings.