Details on New MCC Manufacturing Building

From McHenry County College:

McHenry County College Receives State Support to Build New State-of-the-Art Facility
for Technology, Manufacturing, Innovation Careers

[August 7, 2020. Crystal Lake, IL] A new 41,000 sf career and technical building for McHenry County College (MCC) is one of 15 community college initiatives receiving funding from the state of Illinois to support educational efforts that will help incentivize the economy.

In a press release issued on Thursday, August 6, 2020, Governor Pritzker announced that MCC’s new Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation (CATI) project will receive $15.8 million as part of his administration’s Rebuild Illinois capital plan, which emphasizes the importance of investing in education to fuel economic development.

Rendering of MCC Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation.

The College has needed this center for some time. Nearly 15 years ago, it was added to a state list of potential projects in an effort to expand manufacturing programming that would create a pipeline of skilled workers for the county. Since then, MCC has continued to grow numerous, in-demand career and technical programs in partnership with industry, including its most recent apprenticeship program opportunities. While the way in which students learn has evolved during this 15-year window, the demand and need for technical skills is just as critical today.

“In our nationwide effort to improve record unemployment numbers, the time is now to build this space that will help create economic stimulus,” said MCC president, Dr. Clint Gabbard. “We firmly believe that MCC’s Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation will lead to job renewal and growth for both the county and our region by offering skills that can be used for a lifetime.”

The CATI building will combine “old” and “new” skills, opening its educational doors to both existing programs and the newest career and technical learning, including: HVAC; Welding; Logistics; CNC Machining; Engineering Technology; Advanced Manufacturing; Industrial Maintenance; Mechatronics; Metrology; and Artificial Intelligence. With additional space accommodating an Entrepreneurial Center, Fabrication Lab, and Maker Space, the CATI will offer the promise of being an epicenter for community entrepreneurial engagement, emerging workforce inspiration, and economically meaningful teaching and training.

“We have a vision for the CATI that is focused completely on connection,” said Gabbard. “This will be a hub where students gain the necessary advanced technology skills to keep our nation running, where our industry partners collaborate, and where small businesses and entrepreneurs build ideas and solve problems,” he added.

“The Board enthusiastically supports the development of MCC’s Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation,” shared MCC Board of Trustees Chair, Mike Smith. “We believe that the CATI will be an extraordinary catalyst for job skill development and economic growth throughout McHenry County. We look forward to seeing a diverse population of students from across our region leverage this state-of-the-art facility to develop new and innovative skills that will lead to a lifetime of success in their chosen fields of endeavor.”

The overall project cost for the CATI is just under $22 million. With the state contributing nearly 75% of that total cost, MCC will fund the remaining $6 million through a combination of philanthropic donations and existing college funds that were previously allocated for this specific project, ensuring that there is no additional financial burden on MCC students or taxpayers.                  

“A center with this prospective magnitude of economic development impact is needed now, at this very moment,” emphasized Gabbard. “The growth of our manufacturing and technology sectors, the growth of an inspired, trained workforce, and the growth of a population of individuals and families more firmly grounded in living in this state, are all at stake with long delays. MCC is anxious to play a key part in this economic progress of our county.”

While the detailed timeframe of the building project is still being finalized, a formal bid process to complete design plans for the CATI will take place this fall.


Comments

Details on New MCC Manufacturing Building — 11 Comments

  1. “The CATI building will combine “old” and “new” skills, opening its educational doors to both existing programs and the newest career and technical learning, including: HVAC; Welding; Logistics; CNC Machining; Engineering Technology; Advanced Manufacturing; Industrial Maintenance; Mechatronics; Metrology; and Artificial Intelligence.

    With additional space accommodating an Entrepreneurial Center, Fabrication Lab, and Maker Space, the CATI will offer the promise of being an epicenter for community entrepreneurial engagement, emerging workforce inspiration, and economically meaningful teaching and training.”

    So it’s one half tech school, and another half useless nonsense that’s just being promoted to get the $15.8 million.

    Really vague plan for the building with terms like “Maker Space” and “Entrepreneurial Center”.

  2. Do people learn better when surrounded by expensive and extravagant architecture?

  3. Not actual useful skills. No.

    But a lot of this stuff could just as easily be learned through apprenticeship.

    I’d rather learn welding on the job by an experienced welder than at MCCC.

    Apprenticeship for skilled trades will make a return as people realize how useless their training to be a cubicle slave has always been.

  4. New numbers: $22 million divided by 41,000 square feet equals $536 per square foot, or about five times what any business would pay for a commercial, office, or industrial building.

  5. Steve Wilson, but a business isn’t using taxpayer dollars for that project.

    I would argue that elected officials, even if we give them the benefit of the doubt, simply don’t have the same skin in the game.

    They’re not as restrained when making spending decisions.

  6. I see our resident coward is here.

    Our expert on education.

  7. Pie in the sky!

    Hey white taxpayer, cater to illegal aliens and illiterates!

  8. As a former student of MCC’s welding program, I would say it was one of the best investments of time for me, although I already knew the basics.

    On the job training or learning by trial and error is ok for some, but having an excellent teacher explain the science of how and why metals react is invaluable.

    As well as having access to a full range of tools and equipment to work with.

    Having the confidence to weld and cut different metals with different methods has expanded my construction and fabrication capabilities immensely.

    (that is why I and thousands of others don’t believe the 9/11 narrative that the heat from burning jet fuel (kerosene) warped the structural members causing uniform, free fall speed collapse of Buildings 1,2,7. Impossible!)

    I highly recommend learning this trade, welding, not demolition, if you don’t want a desk job!

  9. That building is ugly.

    Had welding class, gas and arc, in sophomore year of high school. The teacher reminded us many times through the semester to never try to weld a patch or hole on a gasoline tank later in our future if we chose to be a welder.

  10. Should we spend every dollar the U.S. economy produces on education?

    No, that would be silly.

    So why did I pose that question?

    To demonstrate that we all believe – ALL of us — that there are limits as to how much we, as a society, should spend on education.

    Well, then, is there an OBJECTIVE method for determining the appropriate amount that should be spent on education?

    In the case of general education, especially at the primary and secondary level, there are “soft benefits” above and beyond helping students prepare for work someday. That makes such a calculation more difficult.

    But the purpose of the new CATI building is to help people develop skills in order to get better paying jobs than they could otherwise get.

    That makes it easier to determine whether the project makes sense from a public policy perspective: the project makes senses IF it results in higher income sufficient to repay the cost to taxpayers.

    So, how much would students using this project have to earn in order to justify the cost?

    Let’s consider just what the STATE is paying for: their portion of the cost of the building. Will state income taxes rise by an amount sufficient to justify the cost? (Ignore the maintenance and staff costs because these costs will not be borne by the state government, but by students and local property taxes.)

    The state is providing $16 million. A reasonable estimate of the useful life of the facility before it’s worn out or obsolete is 20 years. At a discount rate of 3%, the effective annual cost of $16 million is a little under $1.1 million. Total cost over 20 years, about $21.5 million.

    How much marginal income that would need to be generated in order to justify the project?

    (I emphasize the word “marginal” because people who take classes at the new building would not earn zero if they didn’t take classes there. They’d earn something. It’s only the additional income, the marginal income, that matters to the calculation.)

    The income tax rate in Illinois a flat 4.95% (at this moment). So, take the total cost and divided by the tax rate, and the MARGINAL additional income needed to justify the project is about $435 million. That is, $435 million times a tax rate of 4.95% is about $21.5 million. Now, that’s spread out over 30 years for each student because students will probably work for at least 30 years.

    MCC only has about 2,100 full time students, and a bit under 7,000 students total.

    How many students are going to take full advantage of this new building? 7,000? No. 2,100? No. Probably at most a 100 or 200 per year.

    If 100 students graduate each year for the next 20 years (the life of the building), and each student works for 30 years, then each student would need to earn an additional $7,200 per year over and above what they would have earned doing something else with two years of community college education or not going to community college at all. If 200 students graduate per year, and they each earn an additional $3,600 per year, then the project is break even from a public policy perspective.

    Based on figures I see for technical jobs, I think it’s highly likely that students graduating from technical vocation programs such as MCC is proposing are likely to earn this much more per year or more versus students with only a high school education or students who get a lot of other community college degrees.

    So, first pass, it looks like the project isn’t a complete boondoggle.

    This is the determination the board should have made before “enthusiastically” endorsing it.

    I have my doubts any such reasoning or calculations were made by the board or the administration.

    Of course, that still doesn’t mean the buildings should actually cost $536 per square foot. At a more reasonable cost, the benefit to the taxpayers could be sizeable.

  11. Sally Struthers will do commercials, for McHenry Community College.

    Sally says “Do you want to make more money? Sure, we all do.”.

    YouTube has Sally’s vintage International Correspondence Schools’ commercials.

    😁

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