Heartland celebrates groundbreaking for Advanced Manufacturing and Technology CenterSeptember 29, 2022
Heartland Community College has kicked off the construction of a 45,000 square foot facility to support advanced manufacturing and technology training.
On Thursday, September 29, Heartland staff were joined by representation from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Affairs (DCEO), as well as local officials, and industry leaders for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center.
The $17M facility will include new construction of the Electric Vehicle/Energy Storage (EVES) Center, as well as remodeled space to further support programs such as robotics, HVAC, welding, and digital media.
“As the makeup of our regional workforce has changed we have seen an increasing need for specialized skill training in areas such as advanced manufacturing,” said Heartland Community College President Keith Cornille. “With this facility we will have more resources to meet the advanced manufacturing workforce in programs such as Electric Vehicle technology and High-Voltage Energy Storage Technology. Eighty percent of Heartland graduates in career programs find employment. By expanding these educational pathways, we will help students find a job, have an opportunity to upskill for a better job, and a career.”
Advancement of the EVES center was made possible with a $7.5M grant from the Rebuild Illinois capital plan. The grant helped Heartland accelerate efforts to launch programs in Electric Vehicle Technology and High-Voltage Energy Storage in the Fall of 2021.
“Supporting Illinois’ workforce is paramount as we work to reduce emissions and build out our state’s clean energy economy,” said Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Sylvia I. Garcia. “Innovative training opportunities like EVES meet the needs of our growing EV sector, while also providing equitable career opportunities to underserved populations and supporting economic development.”
Earlier this month Governor JB Pritzker declared Sept. 23-Oct. 3 EV Week: a weeklong celebration designed to raise awareness about Illinois' robust EV ecosystem – including the benefits of driving an electric vehicle as well as choosing Illinois to locate or grow EV businesses.
The Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center project is funding in a public/private partnership with programmatic and financial support from local industry.
The facility has an anticipated completion date in the fall of 2023.
Written by: Steve Fast