More than 150 donors, board members, trustees, elected officials, and business and community leaders gathered for a reception at 525@vine in Winston-Salem on October 7 to celebrate the opening of Forsyth Tech’s Business & Industry Services Division in Winston-Salem’s thriving Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.
After welcoming the guests, Mamie Sutphin, Vice President of Institutional Advancement/Executive Director of the Foundation, introduced Forsyth Tech President Dr. Gary Green.
“By locating our Business & Industry Services Division in Innovation Quarter, we are at the epicenter of local economic development, making it easier to build new and even stronger collaborations to support our business community,” Dr. Green told the crowd. “Here we can intersect with the business community as our client instead of the individual student.”
Dr. Green introduced Ed Welch, Capital Campaign Co-Chair, Chair of the Board of Trustees and President of I. L. Construction. Mr. Welch reminded guests that Forsyth Tech’s space in Innovation Quarter was funded with $7 million raised through the college’s Momentum Capital Campaign, which came to a conclusion in 2013. He recognized the named facilities located at 525@vine, including the R. J. Reynolds Corporate Training Center, the BB&T Biotechnology Program, Wells Fargo Nanotechnology Program, National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce, BioNetwork and Small Business Center.
525@vine is a former tobacco factory that was recently redeveloped and renovated into a mixed-used laboratory and office building. Forsyth Tech occupies 24,000-square feet of work space there. The building was originally constructed in 1926 by the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and used as a blending and processing plant.
Alan Caldwell, director of Community & Civic Engagement at Reynolds American Inc., also addressed those gathered, indicating that it was encouraging to see the former Reynolds building being utilized for the benefit of all of Winston-Salem. He pointed out that he worked in the original factory, on the very floor and in the very space Forsyth Tech now occupies. Forsyth Tech has acknowledged Reynolds’ long-standing training partnership with the college with a named program at 525@vine—The R. J. Reynolds Corporate Training Center.
Following opening remarks, guests were offered tours of the innovative, contemporary work space, which includes a state-of-the art analytical lab, computer labs, and collaborative classroom and meeting room space.
“Businesses thrive in communities where education, knowledge exchange, entrepreneurship and collaboration merge into a common vision for a prosperous future,” Dr. Green said. “Nowhere is this more evident than in Innovation Quarter.”