Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl Hyman to break ground today on the nearly $45 million Transportation, Distribution and Logistics (TDL) Center at Olive-Harvey College, a first of its kind facility in the state of Illinois that will prepare students for the more than 110,000 TDL jobs coming to the region over the next decade in this sector.
“This new facility will supplement Olive-Harvey College’s transportation, distribution, and logistics-focused curriculum to prepare students for a career in an in-demand, high growth industry,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “This is the latest example of how City Colleges is aligning students directly with 21st century jobs, since a quality education is the most important stepping stone when moving up the economic ladder.”
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. The Olive-Harvey expansion project will be funded by $31.6 million from the State of Illinois and $13.2 million from City Colleges and is being administered by the Illinois Capital Development Board, which oversees state-funded, non-road construction projects.“
The TDL Center will employ numerous skilled laborers during construction and prepare thousands of students for high paying, in demand careers once it is complete,” Governor Quinn said. “In addition, we will seek a LEED Silver designation for the center, which is a testament to the building’s energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly design."
Part of the capital investment plan will also be financed by $250 million in tax-exempt bonds. Two major international credit rating agencies, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, rated City Colleges’ bonds as AA stable and AA- stable, respectively. The strength of investor interest in the bond sale allowed City Colleges to reduce its borrowing cost from preliminary pricing levels by nearly $2.6 million to save taxpayers money.
Scheduled to open in 2015, the 103,000 square foot Olive-Harvey facility is being designed with input from City Colleges’ College to Careers faculty and industry partners. Through College to Careers, launched by Mayor Emanuel and Chancellor Hyman in 2011, City Colleges faculty and staff partner with industry leaders to design curriculum and facilities and offer internships and job opportunities to ensure Chicagoans are ready to hit the ground running in fast-growing fields.
“This facility will be the premier training ground for Chicagoans interested in pursuing a vast and diverse array of careers in transportation, distribution and logistics,” said Chancellor Cheryl Hyman. “With the assistance of our industry partners, we are working to make sure City Colleges students learn from experts using the most relevant technology in real-world scenarios so they are able to seize these opportunities.”
Of the 150 jobs created through the TDL Center project, 20 construction positions are designated for qualified applicants from the communities surrounding Olive-Harvey College, including residents living in Wards 8 and 10. Seats have been reserved for qualified residents without prior training in a special construction-training program offered at City Colleges’ Dawson Technical Institute and ten scholarships have been awarded. Applicants are still encouraged to apply.
The facility will include automotive and diesel engine laboratories, an engine dynamometer, classrooms, simulated driving facilities, a testing center and vehicle bays, among other features. To give students hands-on training in the industry, the facility will also feature a high-tech central store warehouse environment that will act as a supply chain hub to efficiently provide office supplies to City Colleges’ seven campuses, six satellites and District Office. The project is targeting LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.“
The central store will provide a practical, real-world training ground for students by integrating operations with the curriculum by teaching students how to take orders, how to fill them, and how to do so in a timely manner,” continued Chancellor Hyman. “Our students will learn the key concepts of logistics and supply chain management needs in an organization that is the largest community college system in the state with thousands of employees and students.”
FGM Architects and construction manager Gilbane Building Company have been contracted for the project. Demolition of temporary buildings on the construction site was completed earlier this year.
Current TDL programs at City Colleges include logistics (including warehousing and supply chain management), commercial driver training, forklift, automotive technology and public chauffeur courses (taxi and limousine). A brand-new TDL pathway begins with an adult education bridge program and includes stackable basic and advanced certificates and an associate degree. The pathway, designed with input from College to Careers industry partners, allows students to return to the classroom to advance their education and career without credit loss, and articulates to bachelor degree programs.
Additional information about the construction project is available here. For information about construction jobs, please call 312-782-8970.