CCAC celebrates capital campaign with groundbreaking for state-of-the-art Workforce Training Center
PITTSBURGH—Today, the Community College of Allegheny County broke ground on the college’s new Workforce Training Center on the college’s Allegheny Campus on the North Side. The groundbreaking is a celebration of CCAC’s ongoing capital campaign that to date has raised in excess of $65 million through a collaboration among the state, Allegheny County, corporations, foundations and CCAC to further align the college with 21st century workforce demands.
The new 60,000-square-foot workforce facility, budgeted at $40 million, will house programs for in-demand fields such as cybersecurity, information technology, autonomous and process technology, machine learning, advanced manufacturing and robotics—making these cutting-edge careers more accessible to prospective students residing in urban areas. The center will also feature experiential classrooms and labs, collaborative areas and a new culinary school for Pittsburgh’s expanding hospitality industry. Additional training areas will be adaptable to future trends in employer needs.
Gov. Tom Wolf joined the virtual celebration by phone to offer his congratulations on this momentous event, commending the great job CCAC is doing to provide an affordable and high-quality education to all members of the community. He also applauded the CCAC leadership, as well as all of the partners and organizations that have supported the college to make the new Workforce Training Center a reality, saying that the project is a major step in the right direction for the entire region.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald noted: “The economic impact generated by the campaign promises to benefit county residents for years to come. According to the most recent Economic Impact of the Community College of Allegheny County report, CCAC returns $5.30 for every dollar Allegheny County invests in the college and supports one out of every 45 jobs in the region—making CCAC a great investment for the citizens of Southwestern Pennsylvania.”
The campaign’s success is reflected in the creative partnerships that have been developed that will expand workforce development through added facilities, expanded programming and improved teaching and learning. The state is providing funding to help construct the new 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. BNY Mellon has committed $5 million to CCAC to establish the BNY Mellon Early College in High School Program. This program will offer career pathways in business, finance, information technology and digital support to 400 underrepresented students in partnership with local school districts. Through rigorous dual enrollment courses, the program will provide an opportunity for students to earn a high school diploma as well as specialized certification(s), or an associate and/or bachelor’s degree in a specified discipline in four to six years.
BNY Mellon Pennsylvania Chair Eric Boughner said, “BNY Mellon is committed to investing in education and in-demand skills training that offer access to sustainable career pathways and ensure stability and economic independence for underrepresented individuals. We are proud to partner with CCAC to establish this program, which will benefit hundreds of deserving students in our community.”
The Allegheny Foundation has donated $4 million toward the $8 million renovation of Chalfant Hall on Allegheny Campus, which will soon become CCAC’s new Center for Teaching and Learning as well as house its Virtual Campus. In addition, major contributions from organizations such as Highmark ($5 million) and the PNC Foundation ($2.5 million) will help support new construction and other campuswide renovations of workforce training facilities and provide more than $5 million for new collegewide programming.
CCAC Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Mona Generett said, “One of the college’s greatest strengths is its very diverse population. This effort is about ensuring that all of our students from diverse backgrounds have the skills they need to compete and take advantage of good job opportunities with a clear path to a successful future for themselves and their families.”
Campaign Co-chair and CCAC Board of Trustees member Frederick Thieman explained that the campaign has been designed to meet the workforce training needs identified by various regional studies, including the Allegheny Conference on Community Development’s Inflection Point report.
“Our number one objective at CCAC is to fully prepare our students to be leaders in the workforce of today and tomorrow,” said Thieman. “The corporate and community support that we have received is the key to fulfilling our goal of equipping students for lucrative career opportunities in new and emerging fields.”
CCAC President Dr. Quintin Bullock noted that the campaign will further CCAC’s goal of becoming the region’s premier provider of workforce training, and that many of the region’s major employers are working with the college to develop a pipeline of skilled employees to meet the growing needs of industry today and in the future.
“The strong partnerships we have developed with these companies, in fields including health care, energy, data analytics, technology and many others, have enabled us to build successful programs that fulfill employers’ requirements and prepare students for real jobs with excellent career prospects,” said Bullock.
Other significant gifts among the more than 25 corporations and foundations that have supported the campaign to date include Colcom Foundation, Duquesne Light, the McElhattan Foundation, Peoples, Pitt Ohio, and the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
To view the CCAC Workforce Training Center groundbreaking video, click here.
Photo: Architectural rendering of the future CCAC Workforce Training Center, as shared by Dr. Bullock during the groundbreaking video.
See below for a slideshow of images from the Groundbreaking Ceremony.