Blackhawk Tech's new training center on track for August opening

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Nick Crow
Sunday, July 20, 2014

MILTON — What it is: The Blackhawk Technical College Advanced Manufacturing Training Center is a two-phase construction project intended to help connect local students to local employers interested in students with training in manufacturing, officials said.

“This facility will transform our region's ability to train adaptable and skilled employees, who will have careers with manufacturing companies in Rock and Green counties,” said Tom Eckert, president of Blackhawk Tech. “More than ever, there is the expectation for state-of-the-art technical training that meets workforce demands and provides citizens with family supporting careers.”

What's the progress: The first phase of the project will be completed in August, when the training center opens to welding, computer numerical control and industrial mechanic programs, said Gary Kohn, marketing and communications manager for Blackhawk Tech. The second phase will be completed in August 2015, Kohn said.

The first phase will open in the former home of ANGI Energy Systems.

The goal of the new training center is to consolidate all manufacturing programs into a larger space than that of the central campus. The center will have new equipment, labs and classrooms so students can train among several disciplines at once.

“This facility will reflect the modern manufacturing environment of advanced systems and automation, providing students with a realistic picture of the region's current and future manufacturing environment,” Eckert said.

Cost: The $12 million project is being financed through private donations, bonds and promissory notes approved by the Blackhawk Technical College District Board and the Wisconsin Technical College Board, Kohn said.

No operational budget funds will be used, Kohn said.

Phase two is still in progress, so its final numbers won't be official until next year, he said.

That portion of the project will expand on the college's automation, heating, ventilation and air conditioning and mechanical design programs.

“The center will be an essential tool in economic development within the area, both in terms of existing companies thinking of expanding or companies considering locating in the region,” Eckert said.

For more information: For more information on the Blackhawk Tech manufacturing and construction program visit blackhawk.edu/ManufacturingandConstruction.aspx.

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