CHICAGO – Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chancellor Cheryl Hyman today announced a $479 million five-year capital plan to support City Colleges of Chicago’s College to Careers initiative by providing facilities that align educational programs with meaningful careers and improve the learning environment across City Colleges’ seven colleges. The capital commitment includes construction of a new Malcolm X College, including a new Allied Health Academy that will strengthen ties to the Illinois Medical District and prepare Chicagoans for the expected 84,000 local job openings in healthcare over the next ten years.
“Today we prepare for a better future and a thriving Chicago economy by giving Chicagoans access to best-in-class academic facilities to prepare them for careers in fast-growing fields,” said Mayor Emanuel, who launched City College’s College to Careers program in December. “The new Malcolm X College will be a beacon of academic and economic opportunity for the entire West Side and all of Chicago.”
The $479 million in investments over the next five years will include: $77 million in academic enhancements (smart classrooms, science classrooms, libraries, labs, and student support centers); $16 million for life safety and security systems; $135 million in long-deferred maintenance (i.e., upgrades to mechanical systems, building exteriors, roof repairs and replacements, and annual maintenance); and $251 million for the new Malcolm X College.
“Our number-one priority is delivering academic credentials of economic value that are relevant to the job market and serve as an economic engine for Chicago,” said Chancellor Cheryl Hyman. “We are partnering with industry leaders to align our curriculum with market demand and our capital investments will ensure we have the facilities to match, giving our students an edge in the job hunt, the ability to hit the ground running on day one, and grow in their careers.”
The new Malcolm X College campus, projected to open in the spring of 2015, will be located just south of the United Center, across the street from the current college site at Jackson and Damen streets on land already owned by City Colleges of Chicago. The 500,000 square foot campus will be composed of two 3-story academic buildings and a 1,500-car parking facility connected via an atrium.
The new campus’ College to Careers programs in allied health will include: nursing (licensed practical and registered nursing), pharmacy tech, hospital pharmacy, dental hygiene, respiratory therapy, occupational therapy, medical lab technician, radiography, health information technology, nephrology, community health, EMT paramedic, and medical billing and coding. A healthcare common core will provide the foundation for a variety of certificates and degrees in the healthcare field.
The new campus will take advantage of its proximity to the Illinois Medical District just across the Eisenhower Expressway and growing partnerships with key industry partners such as Rush University Medical Center. The location is adjacent to the Illinois Medical District station on the CTA Blue Line. Malcolm X College health sciences students already have access to Rush’s facilities via clinical rotations in Radiology, Respiratory Care, Surgical Technology, Nursing, Emergency Medicine and use of its cadaver lab. Rush University faculty members serve as guest lecturers at City Colleges of Chicago and Rush has donated health science equipment to modernize classrooms. Rush also holds an annual job fair at Malcolm X College that allows City Colleges of Chicago students to apply directly for job opportunities in the field.
Other infrastructure enhancements will support City Colleges’ College to Careers initiative, which brings industry experts and City Colleges together through the creation of best-in-class industry training programs, the engagement of industry experts as teacher-practitioners in City Colleges' classrooms, and as a source of direct access to top-notch facilities for training purposes, internships and job interviews.
The partnerships initially focus on the fields of healthcare (at Malcolm X College) and transportation, distribution & logistics (at Olive-Harvey College), but will grow to include programs in other high-demand sectors over the next three years.
Healthcare partners include: Rush University Medical Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, University of Chicago Hospitals, Advocate Health Care, University of Illinois at Chicago, Jesse Brown VA, Walgreens, CVS, Baxter, and Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council; and TDL partners include: Coyote Logistics, UPS, Canadian National Railway, Union Pacific, AAR Corporation, BNSF, Schneider Finance Inc., and United Airlines.