BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, TX –Beginning Tuesday, Brazos Voters will be asked to sign a petition intended to help create a new community college district in Brazos County, as part of efforts by a steering committee established through the Research Valley Partnership.

If signed by the appropriate percentage of registered voters, the petition gives authority to the Brazos County Commissioners Court to call an election to create a new community college district in Brazos County. This college district could allow for either a partnership with other technical workforce providers, creation of a new college, or a change in governance or control of existing Blinn College operations in Brazos County.

The Talent Pipeline Initiative Steering Committee, made up of Brazos County business and community leaders, filed a letter of intent October 19, 2016 with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) notifying the board of its intent to create the new district. The necessary signatures must be presented at the THECB January 2017 meeting.

“We are committed to examining all possible options to fill the high-wage, high-skilled opportunity gap in our community,” said co-chairman of the Steering Committee Andrew Nelson. “The circulation of this petition is one step in the process of Brazos County directing and developing the necessary community college and workforce programs that reside in Brazos County. A new college district doesn’t necessarily mean a new college.”

Committee Secretary Bobby Gutierrez added that the options are numerous, and the petition is a necessary one to ensure workforce training meets the community’s needs.

“We are not talking about creating a second community college,” said Gutierrez. “We’re talking about having the resources and structure in place to partner, acquire, attract or create the workforce and community college programs that meet Brazos County’s needs.”

The steering committee will have volunteers at all 26 voting sites in Brazos County on Election Day and will have a petition available to sign at the Partnership’s office.

You can find more information here.