RALEIGH, NC (November 9, 2022) – Wake County will soon have innovative new training facilities for healthcare, life sciences, cybersecurity, and industrial professions, as well as a new permanent Western Wake Campus, thanks to the passage of the Wake Tech Workforce Forward obligation. Voters overwhelmingly approved the $353 million bond in Tuesday’s election, allowing the college to expand to meet demand for skilled workers in high-demand fields. The referendum passed with 70% support.
College staff and administrators thanked Wake County voters by taking to the streets with thank you signs during the morning rush hour today.
“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support from the people of Wake County,” said Wake Tech President Dr. Scott Ralls. “It’s clear that voters understand the critical role Wake Tech plays in preparing a skilled workforce for businesses in our region. It’s also clear that they appreciate the life-changing opportunities we offer Wake County residents to prepare for meaningful careers and continued career advancement.”
The approval of the bond makes possible the following strategic expansion projects:
- Perry Health Sciences Campus Expansion
The expansion of Wake Tech’s Perry Health Sciences Campus will include the construction of a 120,000 square foot facility. This essential new building will allow for the expansion of the college’s high-demand nursing programs and the addition of potential new programs in mental health, respiratory therapy, disability support and other areas. The new facility will include a “simulation hospital” allowing students of nursing and several disciplines to learn in a real setting. It will also house state-of-the-art laboratories for imaging programs.
- Western Wake Permanent Campus
Wake Tech’s Western Wake Campus will be moved from its current leased facility to a permanent campus in southwest Wake County. The 34-acre site is conveniently located at the intersection of NC Highway 55 and NC Highway 540 Triangle Expressway near US Highway 1. The initial construction of the facilities will provide permanent space for existing campus operations, including including university transfer programs. A new Entrepreneurship Center will be a small business resource center and home to the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship. A new Workforce Development Center will include computer and game development labs and provide flexible industrial/biopharmaceutical training space to support the dynamic employment growth of Apex, Cary and Holly Springs.
- RTP Campus Cyber/Science Facility
Wake Tech’s RTP campus has become a major attraction for new and advanced technology companies growing in the Research Triangle region. The bond funds will support the construction of the third building on the RTP campus, to enable the expansion of life sciences and computer science programs, particularly in the area of cybersecurity, where demand is high. It will also enable the continued advancement of education and industry partnerships that move our region forward.
The bond will also support needed investments in college-wide infrastructure, including technology and security enhancements and accessibility upgrades.
“Wake County’s population isn’t just growing, it’s aging,” Ralls said. “The bond funds will allow the college in our community to keep pace with this growth while preparing the much needed healthcare professionals who are critical to our long-term quality of life, as well as the skilled technicians we rely on every day. like to say Wake County is running on Wake Tech, and thanks to voter support, our workforce training engine will keep running.”
Wake County’s population is growing by approximately 62 people per day. Wake Tech serves more than 70,000 students each year, and this fall saw its highest enrollment in degree programs since the pandemic began.
Independent studies indicate that Wake Tech generates over $1 billion for the local economy each year, with every dollar invested in Wake Tech generating over $7 in additional revenue and social savings.