Pennsylvania Dept. of Education Initiates Funding for New CCAC Workforce Development Center, Programs and Business Partnerships
PITTSBURGH, Sept. 5, 2017 – To help workers get skills they need for in-demand jobs, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf joined Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, members of County Council, Community College of Allegheny County’s Board of Trustees Chairman Frederick Thieman, CCAC President Dr. Quintin B. Bullock and other college officials today in Pittsburgh to announce the launch of a new collaborative workforce initiative which includes a partnership to fund construction of a new Workforce Training Center at the college’s Allegheny Campus.
“This state and local partnership will create a new hub of training for generations of students to get the STEM training and other skills that local employers need to compete in the 21st century economy,” said Governor Wolf. “Projects like this are critical to enabling the workers and economy of Pittsburgh to continue growing and I am committed to supporting these quality education programs and a growing business climate in the region.”
The State will provide funding to help construct the new Training Center through financing from the Department of Education that will cover one-half of the annual capital cost of a 20-year, $20 million bond; the balance will be funded locally. The center will provide training in STEM fields such as cybersecurity, autonomous technology, process technology, plastic technology, and additive manufacturing; EMT; Nurse Aide; and the creative arts, as well as a new culinary school and noncredit programs designed to further align the college with 21st century workforce demands.
Other features will include smart classrooms, laboratories and multi-use spaces. While design plans are incomplete at this time, construction is expected to begin in late 2018 and the building will be designed with the pursuit of LEED certification in mind and will reflect the highest standard of conservation and sustainability in order to minimize the facility’s carbon footprint.
As part of an overall strategy to address the needs for a developing pipeline of talent, CCAC will expand its already significant workforce development operations throughout the college’s four campuses, its three workforce centers in Allegheny County, its workforce center in Washington County and the Energy Innovation Center. This collaborative initiative, in its development stages, is based on internal and external assessments on best practices in workplace education initiatives, input and engagement from the region’s business community, and a design plan for a new facility to advance the economic vitality of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
“Today’s announcement of CCAC’s Collaborative Workforce Initiative, including Governor Wolf’s commitment of funding for a building dedicated to workforce training, allows us to move closer to our goal of becoming the region’s premier provider of workforce training,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “This effort is about making connections – between residents seeking work, the skills they need to succeed, identifying what employers need and want today and tomorrow – and ensuring that this focus is woven throughout everything that we do at the college.”
CCAC’s Board Chairman Frederick Thieman said the Center will be designed to meet the workforce training needs identified by various regional studies, including the Allegheny Conference on Community Development’s Inflection Point report, and is part of the college’s strategy to develop a pipeline of skilled workers for the region.
“We appreciate the support from Governor Wolf and the Department of Education in helping CCAC to launch this multi-phase strategy to bolster a workforce and workplace development program that is already among the best in region thanks to the efforts of Dr. Bullock and his team,” commented Thieman. “This week, our Board will formally acknowledge this funding and continue its planning to strengthen and expand the connections between CCAC and the university and corporate communities.”
“We have already identified that workforce development is a top priority for CCAC’s continued growth and we are prepared to capitalize on Pittsburgh’s unique position at the confluence of innovative and solution-driven workforce development,” said College President Dr. Quintin Bullock. “Our plans will enable CCAC to maximize our potential in developing new and future workforce talent to benefit the region’s growing economy.”
Following the announcement today, the Governor toured the college’s K. Leroy Irvis Science Center, named in honor of the former Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and a pioneer in education.
About Workforce Development at CCAC
CCAC is in the top quartile nationally for enrollment in career and technical instruction, with 41 percent of students earning credits enrolled in career programs. Enrollment in STEM fields – engineering, mathematics, computer science and the natural sciences – has increased over 7 percent in the last five years. CCAC begins this fall semester with an increase in full-time enrollment by more than one percent.
CCAC continues to be the preeminent provider of workforce training in the region—contributing to the overall economic health and prosperity of Southwestern Pennsylvania. During the past three years, CCAC’s Workforce Development division has worked to create new partnerships within the business community, the region’s labor unions and community and civic organizations to offer programs designed to meet the needs of employers and their workers, as well as for individuals seeking additional credentials for career advancement and those looking to pursue a new career track. The division also continues to oversee programming for other members of the community, including lifelong learners, families and those working with vulnerable populations. For more information, visit https://www.ccac.edu/workforce/