Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) Chancellor Cheryl Hyman today announced plans for the new Malcolm X College campus, a modern learning facility that will ensure Chicago’s students access the tools and gain the skills they need to succeed in the careers of tomorrow, including in the fast-growing health sciences field. This major investment in Chicago’s west side is part of a five-year capital plan that supports CCC’s College to Careers initiative and will create 950 construction jobs through 2016.
“Providing our students with a cutting-edge education requires facilities that are up to the task. This investment in Malcolm X is critical to the success of our students in the healthcare careers of tomorrow,” said Mayor Emanuel. “And we are proud that this project will add to the vitality and economic development of the west side as a major investment in our communities.”
As part of this major construction project, CCC is launching a community jobs program that designates up to 120 of the total 950 construction jobs for qualified applicants from the community surrounding the new college; with over10 percent of the total jobs designated for neighborhood residents, this is above the new City requirement of 7.5 percent for construction projects. Residents who live between the boundaries of Lake St. and 26th St. and between California Ave. and Ashland Ave. will have priority to apply for construction positions on the Malcolm X College project.
“Our first priority in building a new campus is to ensure our students are prepared to hit the ground running in 21st century careers,” said Chancellor Cheryl Hyman. “The construction phase of this project will provide an educational institution that is reflective of the communities we serve and will advance economic opportunities for all Chicagoans.”
Additionally, CCC is guaranteeing 50 free slots in construction training programs offered through City Colleges’ Dawson Technical Institute of Kennedy-King College for applicants without prior training who live in the communities surrounding the new campus. To ensure minority and female participation in the project, City Colleges has partnered with HACIA and the Chicago Urban League to recruit all applicants and work with union officials.
“Investing in our workforce to deliver a premier center for healthcare education in one of the fastest growing industries in this City is an exciting development to be a part of,” said Alderman Walter Burnett, 27th Ward. “Giving our community the opportunity of employment and training during the construction phase of this new college will have a tremendous impact on the community surrounding Malcolm X. With the investment in our workforce of tomorrow and today, I couldn’t be more pleased.”
City Colleges has contracted with Moody Nolan, the nation’s largest African-American owned architectural firm, to serve as the project’s architect of record. The firm will expand their two-year-old Chicago office from 9 to 14 staff and will become the largest African-American owned architectural firm in Chicago. The firm’s MBE/WBE spend is 84 percent and 80 percent of the firm’s fee will be spent in Chicago.
“We look forward to creating a world-class educational facility to ensure the success of City Colleges’ students, and through this project, significantly grow our team of experienced architecture professionals in Chicago,” said Curtis J. Moody, owner, Moody Nolan Inc.
As a firm, Moody Nolan has worked locally at UIC and McCormick Place, in addition to significant education and healthcare experience at such institutions as The Ohio State University. The head of Moody Nolan’s Chicago office, Renauld Mitchell was client lead on the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing and a project at the Kluczynski Federal Building before joining the firm. The firm has earned 198 design citations, including the Gold Medal Firm of the Year Award from American Institute of Architects, Ohio Chapter and the inaugural 2000-2001 National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) Firm of the Year Award.
The free, pre-apprentice training program is expected to begin in June 2013 with sessions lasting anywhere from eight to 16 weeks, depending on the program selected. The program will continue to screen and enroll applicants throughout the duration of the construction project as needed. Once a student satisfactorily completes his or her training, he or she becomes eligible for hire by sub-contractors working on the new Malcolm X College campus beginning in early 2014. Available positions may include: plumbers, electricians, carpenters, pipe fitters, brick masons, painters, ironworkers, operators, roofers, laborers, and sheet metal workers.
“The construction of the new campus is a major win for the community as it will enhance economic opportunity with more jobs for residents and foot traffic for our merchants,” said Mike Quinlan, Executive Director, Near West Side Chamber of Commerce. “It will also create a sense of pride throughout the community while also establishing the area as a destination. We are looking forward to learning more about the training program and will do our part to help spread the word to our residents.”
Located in the Eisenhower Corridor, this project is part of Mayor Emanuel’s “Chicago Neighborhoods Now” initiative, in which the City is collectively leveraging $330 million in public funding with $2.6 billion in private funding for new economic development, housing, and quality of life improvements in seven opportunity-rich sections of Chicago. The campus will be built directly across the street on the current college parking lot located at Jackson and Damen Streets. Construction is slated to be complete by the end of 2015.
For more information about the Malcolm X College Community Jobs program, contact the Krystal Stokes of City Colleges’ community relations team at 312-553-3483.
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Photos Credit: Alonzo Rhoden, Malcolm X College