More support is now available to veterans, soldiers, and their families at Austin Community College District (ACC). ACC launches a new Military Families Center to support Central Texas active-duty soldiers and their families. A physical space for the Center will open in fall 2023.
Vanessa Errico is the manager of the Military Families Center. She took on the position in February 2022. We asked her a few questions to learn more about the Center and her role.
What is the Military Families Center?
There has been an influx of military families who moved to the Central Texas region for defense innovation centers such as Army Futures Command, The Software Factory, and more. Austin Community College District is a proud partner in these efforts. We are home to the Army Futures Command Software Factory, where more than 100 soldiers receive technical upskilling training, the opportunity to create software used across the army, and the ability to earn up to one year of college credit that can be applied toward a bachelor’s degree in Software Development or Cybersecurity at ACC.
Supporting the whole soldier also means ensuring their families have the resources they need to thrive. We learned through conversations with the families of soldiers at Army Futures Command and The Software Factory that finding connections in a community that lacked a military installation was challenging. ACC Chancellor, Dr. Richard Rhodes, believed that the college was uniquely suited to provide such services to these soldiers and their families, helping them adjust to a new community. That is why we will launch a new Military Families Center in fall 2023.
The Military Families Center will serve as a convening point, consolidating community resources in one place. In addition to ACC programming, the Center will host events, activities, and programs from key partners that provide support and resources to military families so that help and community are easy to find.
Who will the Center serve?
We will primarily serve active-duty military families, providing them with a welcoming space to plug into college programs, network, and find community resources. Because Austin does not have a military base, the college is stepping in to fill this important role as well as connect military family members to important academic and workforce programs.
When is it opening and where will it be located?
The physical space for the Center will open in fall 2023. It will be located in ACC Highland Campus, Building 4000, and will be part of a combined expanded space shared with ACC’s Veterans Resource Center.
Can you tell us more about yourself — what is your role and why did you take this position?
I am a devoted military spouse of 13 years and a mother of two young boys. I have served military families both as a family counselor in Washington, D.C., and as a family readiness group leader at the 25th Infantry Division during a unit’s deployment to Afghanistan. Without a traditional military installation in Austin, my priority is to provide the best service to those who have carried the pride and anxieties of their loved ones in the service and assist Austin Community College in better serving the robust military family and veteran populations of Central Texas.
More information can be found on the Military Families Center website.