Kellogg Community College and other leaders from the Battle Creek community will break ground Nov. 13 on an 8,400-square-foot expansion of the College’s Regional Manufacturing Technology Center.
The groundbreaking ceremony will occur at 4 p.m. Nov. 13 at the RMTC, 405 Hill Brady Road, Battle Creek. The event, which will include a celebration of the RMTC’s 25th anniversary, is free and open to the public. The event will include light refreshments and tours of the facility.
The $2.75 million expansion will accommodate the current and future employment and training needs of the area’s manufacturers, many of whom are looking to KCC to continue providing a variety of courses, certifications and degree programs in the industrial trades. Construction, which is scheduled to be complete by July 2016, will be funded by a contribution of $1,675,000 from the Battle Creek Tax Increment Finance Authority and approximately $1,075,000 from KCC’s voter-approved capital millage.
“The addition of training space for our manufacturing partners wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of the Battle Creek Tax Increment Finance Authority,” said Mark O’Connell, interim president of KCC. “With the help of the city of Battle Creek and strong corporate partnerships in the region, KCC is expanding its footprint in the Fort Custer Industrial Park so that we can reposition the RMTC in a way that helps the manufacturing community as it continues adding highly skilled employees.”
The expansion of the RMTC bolsters KCC’s leadership in improving job readiness and workforce development, two priorities identified earlier this year through the BC Vision initiative.
Karen Boyer, vice president of general administration for DENSO Manufacturing Michigan Inc. (DMMI) and the Thermal Systems North American Center (TAC), said DENSO is happy to support such initiatives and that the company’s maintenance team is ready to continue offering input on the creation and improvement of technical training courses and programs at the RMTC.
“Recruiting and training qualified, multi-skill industrial maintenance associates is still a challenge,” Boyer said. “We are grateful to KCC for understanding our need and continuing to invest in expanding the depth and breadth of technology training in order to develop a skilled labor force in our community. The proposed expansion and facility improvements are vital for sustaining a robust program.”
The Nov. 13 event also will introduce attendees to Tom Longman, a longtime KCC faculty member who became director of the RMTC earlier this year. Longman, a 1982 graduate of Lakeview High School, was a machinist in the U.S. Navy and in the private sector before becoming a machining instructor at KCC in 1992. He was named director of the RMTC in July.
“I like making things that make other things work, which is why I am so passionate about the RMTC and the hands-on training we provide,” Longman said. “We stay abreast of new technology and make sure our programs remain relevant while promoting opportunities for our students as well as local employers.”
“One of my goals is to increase the number of apprenticeship programs and apprentices in this region,” Longman said. “The long-term impacts of additional apprenticeships will strengthen our workforce and economy while providing great careers for individuals who enjoy working with their hands and utilizing their mechanical aptitude.”
The RMTC opened its doors in January 1990 to serve the specific educational needs of manufacturers and skilled trades companies. After 25 years, the RMTC continues to meet the employee training needs for employers in the business and industry sectors across the region.
RMTC training courses are offered at convenient times, including on a walk-in basis, which enables KCC to provide hands-on, skills-based training quickly and efficiently while working around employers’ production and service schedules. Additionally, many courses are customized for companies with precise training and certification requirements.
For more information about the RMTC, visit www.kellogg.edu/rmtc.
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