Kellogg Community College today announced it will expand its Regional Manufacturing Technology Center (RMTC) by 8,400 square feet to accommodate current and future manufacturing-related training needs of area employers.
KCC, which has operated the RMTC since it opened in 1991, will complete the $2.75 million addition in 2016, thanks to generous contributions from key partner Battle Creek Tax Increment Finance Authority. The RMTC, which offers classes and credentials in a variety of industrial trades, is located in Battle Creek’s Fort Custer Industrial Park at 405 Hill Brady Road.
“As a key provider of workforce development and manufacturing training in the region, KCC is acutely aware that our local employers are hiring, and they need workers who are trained in specific processes that require specialized equipment,” said Mark O’Connell, interim president at KCC.
Tom Longman, director of the RMTC, said the College has received more than $2 million dollars toward the purchase of new equipment in the past two years from multiple sources, including state and federal grants; a DENSO North America Foundation grant contributed $150,000 over the last three years.
“The kind of training we provide at the RMTC, much like a real manufacturing environment, requires a fair amount of space. The additional square footage of the RMTC expansion will give us the flexibility to reposition some of our large equipment and add new pieces in the future while creating enough elbow room to safely and thoroughly educate our students,” Longman said.
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, multiskill industrial maintenance associates is still a challenge,” Boyer said. “We are grateful to Kellogg 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 expansion of the RMTC, which is expected to be completed in July 2016, will be funded in conjunction with the Battle Creek Tax Increment Finance Authority, which has agree to pay up to $1,675,000 to fund the project. KCC’s share will be paid from funds received through the College’s voter-approved capital millage for facilities improvements.
O’Connell called the RMTC expansion “a tangible representation of KCC’s commitment to job readiness and workforce development,” noting these concepts as two priorities identified by the Battle Creek community as part of the BC Vision initiative.
By design, the RMTC meets employee training needs for employers in 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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