Northeast Alabama Community College is building a workforce development center that will provide laboratory space for programs centered on local industry needs.
Through the Alabama Community College System’s ASPIRE 2030 initiative, local public officials, community members, workforce partners, faculty, staff and students were asked how to best align college services with business and industry workforce needs. From this assessment, NACC officials pinpointed specific needs and priority jobs, including industrial systems, building construction, computer science and health care.
“We will be conducting workforce training in a first class, state-of-the-art facility, and this building will permit us to expand what we do and create the space on campus to establish new programs, particularly in healthcare,” said David Campbell, president of NACC.
The center, which will be built over the next few years through Public School and College Authority funds for capital improvements, will include laboratory space for programs centered on industrial systems maintenance, precision machining, design and 3D modeling and building construction training. In addition, it will have adaptable space that can interchange to accommodate up to six programs as local workforce needs shift.
“In order to continue to meet the needs of the communities we serve, the infrastructure on our campuses must be addressed,” said Jimmy Baker, ACCS chancellor. “It is vital that we not only are able to meet existing needs, but that we also plan for what will be needed in the future. This investment in workforce centers and infrastructure across the state’s community colleges is our effort to dream big, think strategically and plan intentionally and responsibly to have the greatest impact on communities across the state.”
The center is also being supported by regional business and industry leaders, of which 30% in DeKalb County are in manufacturing, according to the Alabama Department of Labor.
“We appreciate our partnership with Northeast Alabama Community College as we have collaborated with them on our workforce training journey; from setting up a maintenance apprenticeship program to partnering on wiring training plans, to providing direction and making connections with other resources to assist us,” said Mark Evans, vice president and general manager of Rheem HTPG in Jackson County. “This new facility will allow NACC to expand their services, supporting economic growth in the community. We look forward to seeing this new facility enhance the partnership between Rheem HTPG and NACC.”
Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood has been selected as the architect on the project. Groundbreaking on this center is expected as early as in the fall.