Jackpot! KCC gets $2.15M for Regional Manufacturing Technology Center

Jackpot! KCC gets $2.15M for Regional Manufacturing Technology Center

Thursday, November 02, 2017
Noe Hernandez, Battle Creek EnquirerPublished 12:04 p.m. ET Nov. 2, 2017 | Updated 1:14 p.m. ET Nov. 2, 2017

Kellogg Community College’s will get $2.15 million from the state to renovate its Regional Manufacturing Technology Center in Battle Creek.

The Legislature’s Joint Capital Outlay Subcommittee approved a grant for the renovations on Wednesday, nearly 18 months after Gov. Rick Snyder signed a capital outlay bill into law.

“We are grateful for Governor Snyder, members of the Michigan Legislature and representatives of several local organizations, including the city of Battle Creek and the Battle Creek Tax Increment Finance Authority, for their continued support of the RMTC,” KCC President Mark O’Connell said Wednesday in a press release.

“The RMTC is a vital component of KCC and the ongoing BC Vision job training initiative in Battle Creek.

“The facility exists to teach people advanced skills that will help them discover fulfilling skilled trades careers in the Battle Creek area,” he added.

As part of the deal, KCC had to match half, or $2.15 million, of the $4.3 million needed for the project.

KCC is expected to begin renovating the older 40,000-square-foot section of the facility next spring.

The planned renovations include security, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, flooring and wall upgrades, and a new roof.

The college also plans to reprogram laboratories and classrooms to better meet the training needs of manufacturers.

“This is a tremendous thing and hugely important for our community,” said Joe Sobieralski, president and CEO of Battle Creek Unlimited, which manages the industrial park.

“This goes a long way toward supporting the needs for skilled trades,” he added.

The Battle Creek Tax Increment Finance Authority, or TIFA, contributed at least $1.075 million at KCC’s request this summer, while the college committed to the remaining amount.

“We’re very happy that the grant has been finalized by the state of Michigan and now the RMTC can proceed with their expansion and remodeling,” TIFA Chairman Al Bobrofsky said Wednesday.

TIFA also contributed $1.6 million to build an 8,400-square-foot addition to the RMTC. That $2.59 million project was completed last year.

The RMTC was built in 1989 with financial support from the Kellogg Foundation, Denso, state of Michigan, city of Battle Creek and private groups to train students for careers in business and manufacturing.

The RMTC also provides customized training for employers in the Fort Custer Industrial Park.

More than 620 students enrolled in RMTC programs this fall. KCC students can earn certificates in electronics, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, machining technology, pipefitting, renewable energy, industrial technology, industrial trades, welding and other fields.

Contact Battle Creek Enquirer education reporter Noe Hernandez at 269-966-0684 or nhernandez@battlecreekenquirer.com.

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