Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Colleges’ Chancellor Juan Salgado today joined the Daley family, state and local officials and community members to open the Manufacturing Technology and Engineering Center (MTEC) at Richard J. Daley College. The 57,000-square foot facility is equipped to prepare students for careers in engineering and advanced manufacturing, industries that are expected to bring more than 50,000 jobs to the region over the next ten years.
“The Manufacturing Technology and Engineering Center will be the paradigm for students working towards a relevant education that opens doors to not just get a job, but find a career,” said Mayor Emanuel. “From investing in modern facilities across our campuses, to aligning our curriculums with the skills students need, together we have transformed City Colleges into an education that will pay dividends for our students and our City for generations to come.”
The new equipment and capabilities at MTEC will enable students to participate in a hands-on curriculum that prepares them for the technological advancements in the engineering and manufacturing industries. The facility includes: a manufacturing high bay space, CNC machining equipment and a maker space, classrooms, engineering and manufacturing labs, computer labs and administrative space. There is a new pedestrian bridge that connects MTEC to the existing Daley College building.
“Engineering and advanced manufacturing employers are more inclined to locate and grow here in Chicago if we can guarantee them a strong talent pipeline,” said Chancellor Juan Salgado. “Daley College’s MTEC will help ensure that people from across Chicago’s communities are ready to compete for and land increasingly skilled positions in these lucrative fields and help us create a more inclusive Chicago economy.”
Daley College, City Colleges’ center of excellence for engineering and advanced manufacturing, will continue offering programs in Welding, CNC Machining, Quality Assurance and Factory Automation. MTEC enables Daley to launch pathways to careers in Mechatronics, Sheet Metal Fabrication, Operations Management and Industrial Maintenance. With support from the Dart Foundation, PepsiCo, the Haas Foundation, the Association for Manufacturing Technology, Zeiss and FANUC, Daley College will also further expand the college’s Engineering and Manufacturing program.
The engineering and advanced manufacturing programs offered at Daley College are stackable, and provide students with the opportunity to begin a career or transfer into a bachelor’s degree program. Transfer partners include Southern Illinois University (SIU) and Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).
“Daley College is on the forefront of job training in manufacturing technology and engineering, and students will flock to the south west side to pursue career training at MTEC,” said Alderman Derrick G. Curtis, 18th Ward. “The future is now shining even brighter for the students entering City Colleges of Chicago, who can be proud of the education they earn and confident that they are learning the skills they need to get good jobs in growing fields.”
MTEC was designed with input from faculty and industry partners and key industrial equipment manufacturers, including: S&C Electric, Dearborn Tool, Donson Machine, All Cell Technologies, Dudek and Bock, National Coalition of Certification Centers, Fanuc integrator APT, Freedman Seating, WaterSaver Faucet and many others. The Public Building Commission (PBC) oversaw construction.
MTEC was one of several City Colleges facilities to be modernized since 2011. Under Mayor Emanuel’s leadership, more than $560 million was invested in capital projects to update four of the campuses. New and renovated facilities include: MTEC; the Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Center at Olive-Harvey College; The West Side Learning Center, the satellite campus for Malcolm X College; and the Malcolm X College campus.
In 2011, Mayor Emanuel launched the effort with City Colleges and industry partners to create Centers of Excellence and align each of the system’s seven comprehensive community colleges with relevant and growing industries. The Centers of Excellence are designed with insight from City industry partners and four-year colleges and universities to ensure that each curriculum prepares students for the workforce in high-demand fields.
The City Colleges graduation rate went from one of the worst in America to a record high of more than 24.3 percent according to preliminary data. There has been a 90 percent increase in the number of students earning their associate degree annually, and the number of graduates transferring to institutions of higher education grew by more than 100 percent since 2011. Chicago Public School students participating in early college programs like dual credit and dual enrollment courses has grown more than tenfold and now serves more than 5,000 students annually. The reinvigoration and investment in City Colleges has provided thousands of Chicagoans with the opportunity to seize 21st century careers because the education is relevant to good jobs in growing fields.