The City of Carlsbad and MiraCosta College are partnering to open a new Technology Career Institute in a city-owned building where the college will train workers to fill a growing demand for industrial technicians in North San Diego County.
The building, at 2075 Las Palmas Drive, will also house MiraCosta’s North San Diego Small Business Development Center, which provides resources, workshops and leadership programs for growing and established small businesses.
MiraCosta’s new Technology Career Institute is designed to provide skilled workers for such industries as high-tech manufacturing, maritime technology and biotech manufacturing. The institute will expand the college’s machinist certificate program and create industry-recognized electronics engineering technician and robotics/automation certificate programs.
“There’s a need for trained midlevel technicians in several growing industries in North San Diego County, including maritime technology such as underwater robotics and reverse osmosis,” said MiraCosta College Director of Community Services and Business Development Linda Kurokawa. “The Technology Career Institute will fill a large need by preparing skilled workers for careers in North San Diego County’s growing manufacturing and maritime industries.”
MiraCosta has worked closely with industry leaders to create the curriculum to meet businesses’ growing needs, and graduates enter the workforce with skills that help them find well-paying jobs and advance their careers. The institute will offer accelerated 12-to-16-week programs where students will be immersed in a hands-on, skills-based environment.
The U..S Department of Labor awarded MiraCosta College a $2.75 million grant last year to establish the Technology Career Institute, and the college approached the City of Carlsbad to see if the city could house the program.
City of Carlsbad Economic Development Manager Christina Vincent said the city’s vacant 22,627-square-foot building on Las Palmas Drive is a good match for the college’s needs.
“When MiraCosta approached us with the idea of housing the new Technology Career Institute, we saw this as an opportunity to help the college train workers for Carlsbad’s and the region’s businesses, who have said they need this type of training,” Vincent said. “We will lease the building to MiraCosta at a reduced rate because this program is so valuable.”
The city will lease the building to MiraCosta College for $5,656.75 per month, or $67,881 annually, which the city estimates to be 65 percent below market rate. The Carlsbad City Council approved a six-year lease for the building Tuesday, July 8.
The city purchased the Las Palmas building in 1986 and renovated it in 2001. It has been vacant more than four years and the city will make necessary repairs to make the building usable. The city estimates deferred maintenance costs at approximately $450,000, including repair of the building’s roof and heating, ventilating and air conditioning units.
The building’s floor plan currently consists of 61 offices, three conference rooms, lab space, a lunchroom, open office area and restrooms with shower facilities. MiraCosta will modify the floor plan at its own expense to accommodate the new Technology Career Institute and North San Diego Small Business Development Center. MiraCosta will also pay for utilities, salaries, equipment and other costs associated with operating the institute.
The North San Diego Small Business Development Center is currently located in an aging building at 1823 Mission Avenue in Oceanside, Kurokawa said, and needs a new home. In addition to the Technology Career Institute and North San Diego Small Business Development Center, Kurokawa said the college would likely house the college’s homeland security courses and veteran assistance program in the building.
—City of Carlsbad