Ventura College celebrated its newly expanded satellite campus in Santa Paula with an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday.
The $1-million center, now known as the Ventura College East Campus, offers a range of vocational courses and serves as a job and career training center for the county's CalWORKS welfare-to-work program.
In the fall semester, the campus will add a number of courses that carry university transfer credits, Assistant Dean Sandra Avalos said.
The 25,000-square-foot facility at Dean Drive and Main Street opened in September, but college President Larry Calderon held off on a grand-opening celebration until all finishing touches were in place, including four automated machining tools provided by Haas Automation of Oxnard.
In addition to the machine technology shop, the center, which previously occupied 2,500 square feet, houses six classrooms and two computer labs. Applied computer science courses are among the most popular at the 500-student campus.
Seila Arnold, 29, said she previously worked at a hardware store but now expects to find a better-paying job with the computer skills she has picked up at the campus.
"I wanted some place to go to where I could learn how to advance," she said. "And I knew I needed computer skills to do that."