Imagine a place where individuals of all ages and their families can come for the ultimate hands-on career exploration experience, exposing them to career pathways they may have never considered before. The Make It Center at Austin Community College will inform, inspire, and engage students and members of the community, through collaborative partnerships, to discover a variety of meaningful career pathways that connect interests, strengths, and passions to the well-paying job opportunities in Central Texas.
Planning for the center is underway. A new video presentation is now available to provide a virtual tour of the digital renderings. Click the video below to learn more about the new facility that is taking shape.
“We spent the past four months meeting regularly with partners and stakeholders in our community, among our business and industry partners, with our instructional deans and department chairs, and with ACC’s marketing and communications office to learn more about what’s needed and what we can do to create a space that will inspire our community to pursue their futures at ACC,” says Dr. Janelle Green, ACC’s Make It Center director.
The Make It Center will be housed inside ACC Highland Campus, Building 2000. Features include:
Showroom – To promote and highlight in-demand industries and career pathways within those industries. Exhibits and displays will spark curiosity, inspire interaction, invite exploration, and leave lasting impressions
VR Simulation Technology (SimZones) – To facilitate inspiring, exciting, and fun simulation environments and scenarios for guests to experience a wide range of careers. The VR Sim Zones will engage users in exploring their interests and connecting interests to career options. VR Sim Zone will offer both 3D and 4D technology to optimize the user experience.
Fabrication Lab (FabLab) – To create a space for hands-on learning, problem-solving, and creative experimentation experiences. The FabLab projects will fuel engagement, creativity, and curiosity. At the same time, students can learn and develop new skills with connections to specific jobs and careers.
Inspiration Hub – To provide a dynamic space for robust year-round interactive and engaging programs and events. This versatile space lends itself to a variety of equity-minded programs and interactive instruction that educate, empower, and excite participants about possibilities for a future of a purpose-driven life and meaningful work.
Innovation Hub – To inspire creative and critical thought, dreaming, and strategic planning in ways that promote collaboration and innovation. This technology-enhanced space will provide an environment that encourages leaders across industries to gather and imagine what the future of Central Texas will look like.
Discovery Zone – To capture attention, spark excitement, and facilitate career discovery and exploration through immersive technology such as holograms and interactive software. Guests will also be invited to engage with interactive displays to imagine the life they want, explore a cost analysis and lifestyle calculation, and discover the careers that can get them there.
“This is a center for our community designed with input from our community. Just like ACC is for everyone, the Make It Center is for everyone. We envision field trips from our ISDs, summer camps for our youth, collaborative meetings for our business partners, and more. The opportunities are endless. Our goal is to bring people together here at ACC where they can be inspired and figure out what they’re passionate about and how they can turn their passion into a career,” says Dr. Willie Martinez, ACC associate vice chancellor of Student Engagement & Academic Success.
“We’re excited to bring the vision of this center to life. Together, we can inspire a future community of learners and career seekers. There’s nothing like the Make It Center in our community, in our state, or in our nation. With this facility, we can connect our community to their future and give them hands-on experience so they can connect an idea with reality,” says Curtiss Stevens, ACC executive dean of ACCelerators & Strategic Initiatives.
Construction on the 10,000-square-foot center is slated to begin in early 2022. It’s expected to take approximately eight months with a grand opening anticipated for fall 2022.
While the Make It Center is unique to ACC, it supports the vision and mission of the national Make It Movement to create a pipeline of skilled workers who pursue their passions through higher education.