The city of Chicago broke ground on a state-of-the-art facility that will prepare the region for nearly 20,000 jobs in advanced manufacturing and engineering that are expected to come to the region in the next decade.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Colleges’ Chancellor Juan Salgado attended the ground breaking ceremony on Monday for the Daley College’s Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Center. The 57,000-square-foot space will educated students on modern equipment and prepare them for the technological changes happening in the manufacturing and engineering industries as firms move to create integrated, “intelligent” factories. The new facility will help prepare students to seize the projected 660 annual job openings in engineering and 1,400 annual openings in advanced manufacturing in Cook County over the next decade.
“The Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Center at Richard J. Daley College will prepare our students with the tools and resources necessary to succeed in a 21st century highly-specialized, technology-oriented economy,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “We are making unprecedented investments across our City College campuses to support graduates in seizing the thousands of opportunities in engineering and manufacturing.”
The new center will incorporate manufacturing high bay space, three classrooms, five engineering and manufacturing labs, two computer labs and administrative space. There will also be a pedestrian bridge connecting the center to the existing college building that includes student collaboration spaces. The project will expands the current manufacturing space at Daley College by 1.5 times allowing 1,000 students per year.
This May, City Colleges joined the 50K Coalition, a group of universities, professional associations and businesses that aim to help produce 50,000 minority and women engineering graduates each year by 2025.
“We have been a family business in the Chicago area for 71 years, and because of the growth potential we see in terms of available, well-trained, experienced workers resulting from initiatives like this from City Colleges, we intend to stay,” said Kathleen Dudek of Dudek & Bock Spring Manufacturing Company. “I’m excited to see the creation of this new center at Daley. Colliers International has reported that companies have added 22.3 million square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space in or around the Chicago area in the 12-month period ending in June. With expansion like that, businesses such as mine will need and welcome workers with the education and experience Daley College students have gained thanks to its curriculum and this center.”
City Colleges is working with the Public Building Commission to oversee the construction of the center which has been designed with input from City Colleges’ faculty and industry partners. The project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018 which will allow students to use the space beginning in January of 2019.