The Alamo Colleges District Board of Trustees, Chancellor Dr. Mike Flores, and Northwest Vista College (NVC) celebrated the groundbreaking of its new Veterans Center on Oct. 20.
wSpecial guests included Senator José Menéndez, who secured $6 million for this new center. Since NVC’s opening in 1995, college leadership has made the veteran and military community and their families an integral part of its specialized student population.
“We are proud that we can give our veteran students a dedicated space to help them transition to civilian life and find the resources they need to succeed,” said NVC Interim President Debi Gaitan. “The center will afford veterans the opportunity to meet fellow student-veterans and share their experiences with those who have or are going through similar experiences.”
The new Veterans Center will be almost 4,700 square feet and will provide instructional space, office and support space, and an area for veteran students to socialize and mingle. Northwest Vista College is located near one of the nation’s largest military training bases. San Antonio also has the second-largest veteran population in the state with nearly 160,000 veterans.
Since 2009, there has been a 43 percent increase in students seeking military-related benefits following the full enactment of the post 9-11 GI Bill. While the unemployment rate for veterans has been going down, rates of being underemployed, or not getting high-paying jobs, have increased. Alamo Colleges District and Northwest Vista College technical and certificate programs can help veterans and their families increase their skill sets.