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Coalinga, CA (2014)

Farm of the Future

Financing for the West Hills Community College District for its new Agricultural Science facility in Coalinga, California, also known as the Farm of the Future.

Investment

  • NMTC Amount: $15,035,000
  • Total Project Cost: $16,195,175

IMPACT

  • 3 FTE jobs
  • 80 construction jobs
  • Seven year project impact projections: Approximately 140 students graduating as Pest Control advisors; Atleast 175 students graduating with Welding Technology certification; and over 200 students graduating as heavy equipment operators.
  • 15,000 sq. ft. of real estate

Investor

Project Description

The California Statewide Communities Development Corporation (CSCDC) has provided $10 million of NMTC allocation to West Hills Community College District (WHCC) for its new Agricultural Science facility in Coalinga, California, also known as the “Farm of the Future”. The facility includes a 15,000 sq. ft. career and technical education complex, a student-run farmer’s market, and an 885kW solar facility that resulted in $400,000 in annual savings.

WHCC is undergoing a systematic transformation into a “labor market-responsive college” to prepare students for high-tech, high-wage jobs in agriculture – Central California’s largest industry. With over 60% of WHCC’s students from low-income families, WHCC designs its curriculum to radically increase the number of students completing certificates and degrees that are deemed to be of high value by local employer partners. The Farm of the Future will utilize modern, state-of-the-art facilities and offer an Agriculture and Industrial Science curriculum focused on Heavy Equipment Operations, Welding Technology, Industrial Maintenance Mechanics, Precision Agriculture, Pest Control, Agriculture Engineering Technology, and Agriculture Sciences. Students will learn entrepreneurship through the operation of a student-run farmer’s market and learn about energy efficiency through data gathered from the college’s solar farm. The Farm of the Future also provides the community with increased access to healthy foods through a healthy food box distribution program and a community garden open to the public.

CSCDC has partnered with Chase and Northern California Communities Loan Fund (NCCLF) to provide NMTC financing to assist WHCC with completing its financing for the Farm of the Future.

Community Benefits

  • WHCC has hired 3 new full-time instructors and a full-time director with competitive salaries and benefits.
  • The Career and Technical Education building houses programs educating over 350 students annually, as well as employment training opportunities for approximately 300 residents annually through community course offerings.
  • Over the course of seven years, it is anticipated that:
    • Approximately 140 students will graduate as Pest Control advisors, with starting salaries of $50k-$70k annually;
    • At least 175 students will graduate with Welding Technology certification, with starting pay at $12-17 an hour; and
    • Over 200 students will graduate as heavy equipment operators, with starting salaries of up to $50 an hour.
  • WHCC operates a network of early childhood learning centers for low-income families. Through the Farm of the Future facility, WHCC intends to deliver fresh produce to 550 of these families, at a cost of no more than $5/box per month.
  • WHCC students will operate a “pick-your-own produce” community garden and a student-run farmers market.
  • The solar facility, which provides a net zero cost of electricity to the Farm of the Future campus, also be used to support alternative energy courses.

MAP

Address: 518 West Gale Avenue, Coalinga, CA 93210

Census Tract: 6019007902

Other California Projects

Port Hueneme, (2013)