Community College of Philadelphia breaks ground on new West Philly Career and Advanced Technology Center
The new, green facility will be accessible to students in the Spring of 2022, and feature a STEM program for children in the surrounding community.
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In its mission to provide its students with more high-quality training to enter the workforce and earn a living wage beyond graduation, the Community College of Philadelphia broke ground on Nov. 18 for a new Career and Advanced Technology Center in West Philadelphia.
The $33.5 million facility located at 4750 Market Street is being financed using new market tax credits. They will be coming from a number of different sources including U.S. Bank, the Reinvestment Fund, Urban Research Park, and the state’s Department of Education and Redevelopment Assistance Capital Grant Program.
Programs getting a boost in the new facility include those for transportation and logistics, advanced manufacturing and infrastructure, health care, and entrepreneurship and innovation.
Specifically, the space will host classes for a $650,000 partnership with Toyota for students in transportation and logistics. For those in entrepreneurship and innovation, a new collaboration between students and small businesses and residents in the surrounding community will launch called FabLab.
The program’s goal is to gear both students and the surrounding community with the most cutting-edge skills in the automotive industry.
Outside of the college, the space will also host a pre-college STEM academy that will provide after-school and STEM opportunities for students at five surrounding Philadelphia public schools.
They are as follows John Barry Elementary School, Andrew Hamilton School, Henry C. Lea School, Alain Locke Elementary School, and James Rhoads School.
The STEM program will focus on algebra I readiness, robotics, virtual reality, and high school transition.
“While this is a significant investment in the future of the College, it is also an investment in West Philadelphia, which will greatly benefit as the Center will allow us to engage with the community in a more direct and innovative way,” said college president Dr. Donald Generals at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Also in attendance was Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who spoke of the new center’s importance to a future Philadelphia economy that is inclusive of all its residents.
“Philadelphia is in the midst of a transformative moment,” he said.
While just breaking ground on Nov. 18, the facility is not expected to be ready for students until the Spring of 2022.
This article is part of Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project among more than 20 news organizations, focused on economic mobility in Philadelphia. Read all of our reporting at brokeinphilly.org.