Richmond Community College has been awarded a $2 million federal grant to help with training and job creation.
The project is expected to create 435 jobs and generate $38 million in private investment.
School officials said the grant is from U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and will be used to renovate and expand a workforce training center at the college.
“Developing a workforce that has the science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills needed to meet the needs of the 21st century economy is a top priority for the Obama Administration,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine. “This investment will help grow North Carolina’s workforce and ensure that workers possess the skills for the jobs and industries of the future.”
The EDA investment will help fund the renovation and expansion of the John E. Forte Building. It will be made into a state of the art, high-tech training center for careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related fields, supporting the future needs of North Carolina’s advanced manufacturing industry and its emerging energy production and transmission cluster.
The Forte Building will house the new Electric Utility Substation and Relay Technology program along with other engineering and technical programs. RCC is already making waves with its new substation and relay program, which is the first in the state, and fifth in the nation, according to Steve Lampley, who will be instructing the program.
The college has been laying plans for expansion on the Forte Building for more than two years. It’s home to a booming technologies department, houses electrical, welding, robotics and classes used for industrial maintenance technician training.
Ground is set to break this summer, beginning an expansion that will add another 12,000 square feet to the building. The expansion and renovation will cost $3.2 million.