Work begins on IRSC complex that will train students for specialized technical careers
BY SUZANNE SELDES
The groundbreaking for Phase 1 of Indian River State College’s newest building — the Advanced Workforce Training Complex — occurred Dec. 4 with educators, employers, students, residents and legislators in attendance. The purpose-built facility will link advanced technology and leading-edge industry training in specialized technical career fields such as advanced manufacturing; automotive, aviation and marine technology; welding; heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; and more.
The 50,000-square-foot complex will be located on the southeast side of the college’s Massey Campus in Fort Pierce, uniquely situated across from the Kight Center for Emerging Technology and the Brown Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Together these buildings complete a campus triangle of advanced learning environments critical for closing the regional skills gap and preparing residents for high-wage, in-demand careers.
“The resurgence and reshoring of manufacturing across our nation is accelerating, and the Advanced Workforce Training Complex will make sure that our region has the highly skilled labor to meet current and future needs,” IRSC president, Dr. Timothy Moore, said. “We can realize tremendous economic growth in manufacturing and the industrial trade fields, but we first need to grow the pipeline of talent. IRSC’s newest complex will get the job done.”
Previously known as the Treasure Coast Advanced Manufacturing Center, the more aptly named Advanced Workforce Training Complex is expected to go online by spring 2022. The building was designed by Florida Architects and Proctor Construction Co. is construction manager.
“Proctor Construction Co. is proud and grateful to partner with Indian River State College on this exciting project,” Proctor CEO and chairman, Donald Proctor, said. “In our industry, we know firsthand how important it is to give people the opportunity to learn trades. Our industry is in serious need of educated tradesman. We have done many fine projects for IRSC, but we are especially looking forward to this one that will help improve the construction industry.”
The Florida Legislature has awarded $10.7 million in funding for the project in three of the past five budget sessions. Another $2 million was secured through an Economic Development Administration grant, presented to the college by former Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in May.
The IRSC Foundation has committed to raising $3 million from individuals and corporations to provide the advanced technology equipment needed to train students for these highly skilled positions. IRSC will be working with legislative leaders to secure the remaining $10.6 million to construct Phase 2 of the complex.
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