June 22, 2023

Union State Bank and Docking Family Join Career & Technical Education Center Campaign

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The Cowley College Career and Technical Education Center campaign has crossed the $1.7 million mark thanks to Union State Bank and the Docking family.

“With more than 600 technical openings going unfilled across Cowley County and the region, the need for this center is significant,” Eric Kurtz, Union State Bank President and CEO, said.

According to a Comprehensive Regional Economic Needs Assessment, more than 350 advanced construction trade positions, 100 electrical and HVAC positions, and almost 50 welding positions go unfilled for local and regional businesses.

“There is a ripple effect when these diverse trade skills go unfilled,” said Brad Bryant, Union State Bank’s Arkansas City Market President. “From home and commercial construction to the oil fields and from manufacturing to electric companies, the economy is slowed when businesses can’t find qualified employees. This project creates employment for hundreds, builds businesses, and grows our economy.”

The Center will help train and certify graduates in areas of advanced construction trade, those in the fields of electrical and HVAC, welding, and criminal justice.

“Hundreds of these positions go unfilled every five years in Cowley County and the region,” said Dr. Michelle Schoon, Cowley College president. “Our businesses can’t find enough qualified people for these specialty technical areas. The Career and Tech Center will provide expanded space and new instructional technologies to educate and train more people in these areas more effectively and quickly.”

The career and technical education center will be built on the Arkansas City campus, at the corner of Fifth Street and Washington Avenue, with plans to be open Fall of 2024.

“For almost 70 years, the Docking family and Union State Bank have worked to drive local and regional business. This project and the technical and trade graduates it produces will supercharge our economy,” said Bill Docking, Chairman Emeritus of Union State Bank Board of Directors and member of the Cowley College Foundation Board of Directors.

“We are extremely grateful to Union State Bank and the Docking family,” Dr. Kori Gregg, Cowley College Foundation president and CEO, said. “Having local businesses and families involved in support of this project speaks volumes to the community and the region. This project is extremely important. This project helps businesses and creates meaningful lifetime professions for graduates.”

The project is funded by the capital campaign and a $4 million grant from the State of Kansas. A groundbreaking for the Career and Technical Education Center is scheduled for Tuesday, June 27th at 10 a.m. at 513 W. Washington Ave in Arkansas City.

Rama Peroo | Director of Institutional Communication
Cowley College
125 S. 2nd Street
Arkansas City, KS 67005