Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Colleges Chancellor Cheryl Hyman broke ground October 2nd on the new Malcolm X College and School of Health Sciences. Designed with input from healthcare industry partners, the new facility will serve as the hub of the College to Careers healthcare programs to prepare students for the 84,000 healthcare jobs expected to come to the region over the next decade. Slated to be completed in late 2015, the new campus will host students beginning in January 2016.The new campus is part of City Colleges of Chicago’s five-year $524 million capital plan, which will invest across the seven-college system.“Here in Chicago, we are revolutionizing the educational model by linking highly-specialized, technical curriculums with the needs of our local employers --essentially creating a direct bridge between students and jobs of the 21st century economy,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “More than a hundred of the best companies have partnered with City Colleges to help build the facilities, design the curriculum, train the teachers, and ultimately hire the students, and this new Malcolm X campus is an extension of these efforts by linking students with an in-demand career in healthcare.”Located adjacent to the Illinois Medical District and across the street from the current college at Jackson Boulevard and Damen Avenue, the new campus will include space for health science, general education, and adult education programs. It will include a virtual hospital; skill and simulations labs; sports science and occupational programs; state of the art technology, more than 25,000 square feet of student study and activity space; and a new conference facility with capacity for 1,300. The 500,000 square foot campus will have the capacity to accommodate approximately 20,000 students, 6,000 more than today.“Today we lay the foundation for a best-in-class learning environment that will be the pride of the West Side and all of Chicago,” City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl Hyman said. “The new Malcolm X College will be a centerpiece of our efforts to ensure Chicagoans are prepared for careers in growing fields like healthcare.”Moody Nolan, who owns the nation’s largest African-American architectural firm, serves as the project’s Architect of Record. Through this project, the firm is expanding its two-year-old Chicago office from nine to 14 staff members.City Colleges of Chicago is committed to ensuring that the construction project benefits Chicagoans, especially the surrounding Near West side community. Of the approximately 950 jobs being created through the project, the vast majority will go to Chicagoans and up to 120 are being made available to qualified applicants residing in communities surrounding the college.To prepare local residents without prior training, City Colleges is providing slots in a free pre-apprentice construction training program offered at Kennedy-King College’s Dawson Technical Institute (DTI). Nearly 30 people have completed the DTI training program to date; 22 are now working to prepare the site for construction. Another cohort of approximately 30 local residents is currently in the training program.To ensure minority and female participation in the project, City Colleges has partnered with the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA) and the Chicago Urban League to hold hiring events and recruit applicants.Mayor Emanuel and Chancellor Cheryl Hyman announced the new campus project in February 2012, along with City Colleges’ five-year capital plan. The plan enables major improvements throughout the seven-campus community college system—from upgraded classroom technologies to brand-new teaching and learning facilities—as well as a new Transportation, Distribution and Logistics (TDL) Center at Olive-Harvey College. City Colleges will issue $250 million in bonds to cover part of the cost of the plan. This past week, City Colleges earned first-time bond ratings of AA (stable) and AA- (stable) from S&P and Fitch, respectively.City Colleges’ College to Careers initiative seeks to prepare Chicagoans for six growing fields projected to generate hundreds of thousands of job openings in the next decade: healthcare; advanced manufacturing; information technology; transportation, distribution and logistics; business and professional services; and culinary arts and hospitality. The program forges partnerships between City Colleges and industry-leading companies and organizations to better align City Colleges’ curricula to workplace demands.
Since the launch of College to Careers in December 2011, more than 100 industry partners have joined the effort by committing to review curricula and offer City Colleges students and graduates first pass at internships and job opportunities. More than 700 students have secured employment in College to Careers industries.Learn more about College to Careers here.
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View an album of photographs from the groundbreaking ceremony here.