HCC celebrates 50 years

HCC celebrates 50 years!
Posted on 09/19/2018

From Chris Denham, Hart Career Center Director The sign outside Hart Career Center reads, “Building Bright Futures since 1968.” Growing up in the area, I have witnessed the truth of this statement. My dad and his brothers were some of the first students to attend Mexico Area Vocational and Technical School, as it was called then. Over the years, dad returned many times to take additional classes in electricity, heating and air conditioning, welding, and others. Each step broadened his skill set and created new opportunities for his career at the brick plant. His story is only one of many. For the past 50 years, Hart Career Center has been an integral part of building both our local and global workforce.

How did it all begin? The Mexico Board of Education first officially took up the discussion of building a new Vocational Education building in January of 1967. At the time, Mexico School District was offering a limited number of vocational classes at the High School. Vocational Director, Davis Hart, had the vision to see the need was much greater. Fortunately, legislative efforts in the late 1950s and early 1960s had made federal funds available to states for the purpose of creating area vocational schools. Hart, along with other administrators and a group of citizens led by Kirby Allen, presented a plan to the board at that January meeting and a successful bond election was held in February. The building officially opened to students in September of 1968.

Although I did not attend Hart Career Center as a student, it has come full circle to impact my career path as well. For the past five years, I have had the privilege to lead the HCC team. During that time, I have met many former students. From local community members, leaders and business owners, to those working in far off places, many have returned to share their stories. It is clearly evident from their accounts that Davis Hart’s vision has been successful. I am proud to say the current staff is committed to seeing that vision, and the mission of “Building Bright Futures,” continue for many years to come.

What is your story? This Wednesday, September 19, 2018 from 5:30 to 7:00pm, we invite you to join us in celebrating our first 50 years. Whether you are a former student or have never been in the building, you are welcome to stop in and visit. We have been digging through the archives and will be highlighting some of our history. At the same time, students and instructors will be here to show off our current programs and future plans. If you are not able to join us on the 19th, visit our Facebook page and post your story or call us to schedule a visit. We will gladly take time to show you around!