(Bossier City, LA) Virginia College opened on July 11, 2012 a new 70,000 square foot school with 11 classrooms, seven computer labs and three technology labs in Bossier City. The college transformed the old Service Merchandise space at Pierre Bossier Mall into a hands-on educational facility in just a few short months. The proprietary college is expected to create at least 150 new jobs and generate a capital investment of more than $3 million.
“Our welcome has been tremendous, and we are pleased with the community response and successful start in Shreveport and Bossier City,” says Lisa Ramirez, Campus President. “As with all Virginia College locations, we gauge employer demand and then design and offer programs that meet those needs. Potential employers have all told us how excited they are that Virginia College will be providing them with well-trained graduates. In addition to serving our students, we feel we have positively impacted the economy in the area and hope to attract more people and revenue as well.”
North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP) and local partners, including the City of Bossier City and Bossier Parish Police Jury, assisted Virginia College with finding just the right location. The school needed a central location with access to public transit, ample parking, easy accessibility and convenience.
“Virginia College is a welcome addition to Bossier City’s economic base,” said Bossier City Mayor Lorenz Walker. “Along with the addition of jobs and a multi-million dollar capital investment, Virginia College will offer a valuable education opportunity to the residents of Northwest Louisiana and assist in providing a well trained workforce for current and future employers.”
Virginia College will offer programs in office administration, business administration, healthcare reimbursement, medical assistant, medical office administration, medical billing and coding, and pharmacy technician.
“I am excited to see Virginia College as a new tenant at Pierre Bossier Mall. Their educational programs will assist area residents in obtaining quality jobs,” said Scott Irwin, Bossier City Councilman.
Prior to entering the Shreveport-Bossier market, Virginia College conducted a market analysis to determine if there was a demand for additional higher education programs. The school tailored its program offerings to match what it determined as labor shortages in Shreveport-Bossier employment sector. Many of the school’s current programs focus on training students for a medical career, since Shreveport-Bossier is a medical hub for a multi-state region.
“Workforce development remains a critical issue for North Louisiana and the state. If programs offered by Virginia College can help upgrade the skill levels of our workforce, then everyone wins- students, employers and our economy,” said Jimmy Cochran, Bossier Parish Police Juror.
NLEP and local partners began working with Virginia College in 2009 as the national proprietary school considered different locations to open a new campus.
“NLEP is pleased Virginia College chose Shreveport-Bossier for its new campus. Their economic impact will mean new jobs, new investment in our community and additional educational opportunities for our residents,” said Tim Miles, NLEP Vice President of Business Development.
Birmingham, Ala.-based Education Corporation of America is a leader in the post-secondary career school market with current enrollment of over 19,000 students. Holdings include Virginia College, founded in 1983, a private institution of higher education that offers non-degree and associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in the areas of Health and Medical, Business, Information Technology, Interior Design, Computer Design, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, and more with locations in 24 different cities. Virginia College campuses are located in Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery and Mobile, Ala.; Jackson and Biloxi, Miss.; Pensacola and Jacksonville, Fla.; Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tenn.; Augusta, Savannah, Columbus and Macon, Ga.; Florence, Greenville, Spartanburg, Columbia, and Charleston, S.C.; Richmond, Va.; Baton Rouge and Shreveport/Bossier City, La.; Tulsa, Ok., and Austin, Texas. The Virginia College website is www.vc.edu. Virginia College also offers classes worldwide via the Internet, and operates Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College, with campuses located in Birmingham and Mobile, Ala.; Savannah, Ga.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Richmond, Va. ECA also owns and operates the Golf Academy of America schools in San Diego, Calif.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Dallas, TX., and Orlando, Fla.; as well as the Ecotech Institute in Denver, Colo., which is the first and only college focused on preparing students for careers in renewable energy and sustainable design. ECA schools are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).