College is seeking $9 million bond referendum for a new Advanced Technology Center
SALISBURY, N.C. — The Cabarrus County Commission recently approved a bond referendum for a new Advanced Technology Center for Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. The $9 million bond referendum will be placed on the November 4 ballot.
In addition to the Cabarrus County Commission bringing forth a $9 million bond initiative to the citizens of Cabarrus County for the construction of an Advanced Technology Center, they have indicated their willingness to support an additional $2 million in cash. This would represent a total of $11 million, a majority of funding for the 60,000 square foot classroom and lab building.
“In North Carolina, it’s the responsibility of the local county commission to fund the construction and maintenance of community college facilities,” said Carl M. Short, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees. “It is important that the College’s Board of Trustees formally demonstrate its support for these needs. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has been a vital contributor to the economic health of both Rowan and Cabarrus counties for many years and has long been recognized for its important role in educating and retraining of our citizens.”
The Cabarrus campus enrolls nearly 10,000 students over the course of a year and serves both students transferring to four year universities and those seeking career training ranging from fine arts to motorsports management.
“The region is dependent upon the College to provide the workforce talent and education necessary to emerge from the recession and thrive,” said Concord Mayor Scott Padgett, who also serves on the College’s Board of Trustees. “In order to grow and prosper, we must diversify our economy to retain and attract high-wage, high-demand jobs.”
Applications of advanced technology – from automated manufacturing, logistics, warehousing, 3D printing, to cyber security and information assurance – are evolving as growth areas for existing businesses, facilitating a regional culture of entrepreneurship and bringing new technology-centric companies to the area. An Advanced Technology Center will address training needs for companies with high technology demand and emerging jobs through industry-recognized certifications and hands-on skills training in multiple disciplines including, but not limited to: Information Technologies (IT), welding, machining, HVAC, electronics and electrical engineering technologies, mechanical engineering, hydraulics, pneumatics, nanotechnology, advanced manufacturing and more.
Providing the region with exemplary public higher education that anticipates and supports economic and workforce development while increasing, improving and automating services and curriculum programming is a top priority for the College.
“I want to encourage you to vote for the bond and hope you’ll ask your friends and family to do the same. We need your support in this worthy effort to help gain a new facility which will serve our community’s needs!” said Cynthia Mynatt, vice chair of the College’s Board of Trustees and President of Ben Mynatt Buick-GMC. “Rowan-Cabarrus is a willing and capable contributor to partnerships that bring new jobs to the area and a leader in producing graduates for existing business expansions.”
A building or space to house a program is only part of the equation. The College and community must invest in high quality faculty who can help develop exemplary programs that train people for sustainable careers. Programs like Information Technologies (IT), welding, machining, HVAC, electronics and electrical engineering technologies, mechanical engineering, hydraulics, pneumatics, also require industry standard equipment that is expensive. Support for this equipment, program development, faculty enhancement and facility planning is not supported by either county or state funding.
The scope of work demands resources beyond those available in the College’s current budget for comprehensive planning and design to assure a facility and programs that will provide value to local employers.
“The reality is that we are not immune to the tough economic times. Our resources from the state have continued to decline year after year,” said Dr. Carol. S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “We’ve worked hard to bring millions of federal and state dollars into our community through grants and collaborative partnerships. We cannot achieve our goal of strengthening our region through state-of-the art educational and innovational career training without adequate resources.”
“We currently have invested in some of these areas, but without the additional space, we cannot hope to expand into new and emerging industries. We simply can’t build a program if we don’t have a place to put it. More importantly, an Advanced Technology Center would be a flagship to help attract employers to the region,” continued Spalding.
For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).