“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.”
Daley College students will learn on state of the art equipment, preparing them for the technological changes occurring in the engineering and manufacturing industries, as firms move towards creating “intelligent factories” that integrate automation into CNC machining and quality assurance.
“I’m excited that the new Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Center is being built at Richard J. Daley College as my father always believed in the vital role of education, vocational schools and the City Colleges in preparing students for careers in local industry,” said Cook County Commissioner John P. Daley. “This Center builds on his idea by preparing students for jobs in high demand careers and is a great investment by the Mayor and the City Colleges. This Center will help Chicago to develop many of the high skilled workers we need to continue competing in a global economy.”
The new center will incorporate manufacturing high bay space, three classrooms, five engineering/manufacturing labs, two computer labs, and administrative space as well as a pedestrian bridge connecting the center to the existing college building that includes student collaboration spaces. It will offer 1.5 times the current manufacturing space that currently exists at Daley College, allowing CCC to serve 1,000 manufacturing students per year in spring and fall semesters.
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.
“Daley College’s new facility, combined with strong links to area employers and academic links to both our high schools and four-year colleges will enable us to remove the barriers to our students’ success and create a robust and diverse pipeline of talent into engineering and advanced manufacturing careers,” said Chancellor Juan Salgado.
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.
City Colleges engineering pathways will focus on transfer to bachelor’s degree programs in high wage fields with median wages of $88,000/year across engineering fields (e.g. Civil, Mechanical, Electrical). The Advanced Manufacturing program, a stackable degree and certificate programs in five areas, will continue to evolve based on industry trends and ongoing employer feedback, targeting jobs such as: industry machinery mechanics (118 annual openings and median wages of $42,000/year) and welders (115 annual openings and median wages of $30,200/year).
“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 manufacturing center, which has been designed with input from City Colleges’ College to Careers faculty and industry partners. Mayor Emanuel launched College to Careers in 2011, which aligns each City Colleges with a fast-growing industry sector and involves employers and universities in evaluating City Colleges’ curricula and facilities to ensure they prepare students for in-demand careers, and in offering students the opportunity for internships and a first pass at job opportunities. Since the launch of College to Careers, more than 4,000 students have found a job or paid internship in a high-demand field.
The project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018, allowing students to begin to use the space in January 2019.