SAN ANTONIO – In an effort to increase educational and job opportunities, local leaders are pumping nearly $1 million into the Westside Education and Training Center.
The center, located in the old Lincoln Elementary School in the heart of the Edgewood Independent School District, has offered classes and training to some 12,000 high school students and adults for the past 10 years.
On Tuesday, a partnership made up of the Alamo Colleges, Edgewood ISD, the City of San Antonio and the Westside Development Corporation, committed to helping the center grow over the next decade by offering continuing education and spurring job growth in the largely low-income area.
“So many folks on the west side are proud blue collar workers,” Westside Development Corporation Director Chris Martinez said. “A center like this will give them an opportunity to excel and advance in their careers.”
The old facility will be getting a $1 million dollar renovation to begin this summer. The improvements will include an elevator and other upgrades to make the center accessible to disabled people. The improvements will be funded by a $500,000 contribution from the City of San Antonio, $300,000 from the state of Texas and $87,000 from Alamo Colleges.
Armida Flores is among the thousands who credit the center with changing their future. The former courthouse cafeteria worker first came to the center to learn English. Now, she has a bachelor’s degree and a job at the University of Texas Health Science Center.
“Now, I’m doing a job that is much better for me, better pay, better benefits, and it is a job that I like,” she said.