Pittsburgh, PA – To help workers get the skills they need for in-demand jobs, Governor Tom Wolf joined Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) leaders to announce a partnership to fund construction of a new Workforce Training Center at the college’s Allegheny Campus.
“We know that jobs exist for workers with the right skills and this state and local partnership will create a new hub of training and STEM education for generations of students to compete in the economy,” said Governor Wolf. “Projects like this are critical to enabling the Pittsburgh regional economy to continue growing. This new center will provide technical education and training that we know employers demand. Our community colleges are an investment in our future.”
The center will provide training in culinary arts, STEM fields such as cybersecurity, autonomous technology, digital technology, process technology, plastic technology, and additive manufacturing; EMT; nurse aide; and the creative arts as well as noncredit programs designed to further align the college with 21st century workforce demands. The Department of Education will finance half of the annual capital cost of a 20-year, $20 million bond to construct the center and the rest will be financed locally.
Other features include smart classrooms, laboratories, and multi-use spaces. The building will be designed with the pursuit of LEED certification in mind and will reflect the highest standard of conservation and sustainability to minimize the facility’s carbon footprint.
“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 Board of Trustees Chairman Frederick Thieman said the center will be designed to meet the workforce training needs identified in studies conducted by Allegheny County 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 the connections between CCAC and the university and the 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 CCAC 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.”
CCAC is in the top quarter nationally for enrollment in career and technical instruction, with 41 percent of the student earning credits are 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.
Following the announcement, 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. The 65,000-square-foot state-of-the-art building features modern classrooms and laboratories with the most advanced technologies available.