Governor Quinn Announces $31.6 Million for City Colleges of Chicago

Capital Funding to Finance High-Technology Center at Olive-Harvey College

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–March 13, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl Hyman to announce $31.6 million from the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program for a new Transportation, Distribution and Logistics (TDL) Center at Olive-Harvey College. The facility will be the first comprehensive TDL education center in the state and supports Governor Quinn’s commitment to growing high-tech jobs. The facility will prepare students for work in transportation logistics and other high-tech careers such as automotive technology, applied engineering and avionics.

“By investing in our community colleges, we can better prepare Illinois residents with the skills they need to compete for these high-technology jobs,” Governor Quinn said. ”We’ll put people to work building this new facility, and we’ll empower students with state-of-the-art tools and training they need to go out and get these good-paying, high-tech jobs.”

The project is expected to create nearly 300 construction jobs and cost a total of $42.2 million, which includes a $10.6 million contribution from City Colleges. Officials will pursue a LEED certification for the 200,000 square foot building, which will house: a high-tech warehouse environment, laboratories, workshops, classrooms and virtual reality simulation facilities. The new building will replace almost 112,000 square feet of temporary classroom space near the main Olive-Harvey College building.

“With this funding, Governor Quinn is supporting our ‘College to Careers’ program that re-engineers, re-imagines, and revolutionizes our City Colleges in order to meet the demand of the high-growth sectors of the future,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This shared investment reflects our shared determination to strengthen our economy together.”

The project is administered by the Capital Development Board, which oversees state-funded, non-road construction projects. Construction is expected to start in spring 2013 and be completed in spring 2015.

“City Colleges’ main goal is to equip our students with credentials of economic value that prepare them to compete and win the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Chancellor Cheryl Hyman. “The TDL industry is increasingly reliant on high-skill, technology-driven jobs, and this facility will embed technology into our training programs to prepare students to hit the ground running in this fast-growing field.”

Under City College’s “College to Careers” program, industry experts are teaming up with City Colleges, to help students as teacher-practitioners and to help create training programs in City Colleges’ classrooms. This unique partnership also gives students direct access to facilities for training purposes, internships and job interviews.

Training at the Olive-Harvey TDL facility will expand to include: repairing and maintaining heavy equipment; expanded commercial drivers’ licensing; forklift operation; freight expediting, warehousing and logistics information technology; sheet metal technician; automotive technology; avionics technician; and applied engineering. Careers in these high-tech fields can have starting salaries as high as $21 per hour.

The “College to Careers” partnership currently focuses on two industries: transportation, distribution and logistics at Olive-Harvey College, and healthcare at Malcolm X College. Over the next three years, programs in other high-demand sectors will be added. Mayor Emanuel and City Colleges just announced a $479 million, five-year capital plan which includes a new $251 million campus for Malcolm X College, including an Allied Health Academy.

City Colleges’ “College to Careers” partners in transportation, distribution and logistics include: Coyote Logistics, UPS, Canadian National Railway, Union Pacific, AAR Corporation, BNSF, Schneider Finance Inc. and United Airlines. Its healthcare partners include: Rush University Medical Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, University of Chicago Hospitals, Advocate Health Care, University of Illinois at Chicago, Jesse Brown VA, Walgreens, CVS, John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County, Baxter and the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council.

Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! program includes $1.5 billion for higher education, including $788 million for public universities and $400 million for community colleges. The overall $30 billion program is expected to create 439,000 construction jobs.