CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Bridgemont Community and Technical College and Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College leaders said Tuesday the pending merger of the two schools will provide significant benefits to local employers.
"The primary focus of this new institution is going to be on the delivery of service to business and industry in the region," Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College President Joseph Badgley told members of the South Charleston Economic Development Authority.
Badgley and his Bridgemont counterpart, Dr. Beverly Jo Harris, told local business leaders the combined schools will be better equipped to provide a diverse range of training programs for local companies.
"It's just a real efficient model and a real comprehensive model that we're excited to work on," Harris said.
Earlier this year, the state Legislature passed a bill merging the two schools.
Montgomery-based Bridgemont has traditionally focused on providing degrees in technology fields, while Kanawha Valley has focused on health care training.
The two presidents said they had worked for years to make sure their programs didn't overlap. But with recent budget constraints, officials decided it was better to streamline the approach.
"It was decided that the best approach to delivery for comprehensive community college services for this region of the state is to look at having one single multi-campus community college that serves us better," Harris said.
"What you will see in this one new combined institution will be a very strong, comprehensive community college that will be able to deliver health programs in the Montgomery area, technology programs in the South Charleston area and really create a dynamic flow of opportunity for our students," she said.
In addition to their existing campuses, the combined school will also oversee the $15 million Advantage Valley Advance Technology Center currently under construction in the West Virginia Regional Technology Park.
The center is designed to house a wide array of short-term training programs for local manufacturing, chemical and technology firms.