Cleveland Community College’s Advanced Technology Center unveiled its new name during a grand opening Wednesday.
The name, which had been kept under wraps for months, was revealed as the Speaker Tim Moore Advanced Technology Center to a crowd of supporters, community college staff, county leaders and others after a lineup of speeches.
The $15 million center, which was named in honor of North Carolina House of Representative and Speaker of the House Tim Moore, will welcome its first students this fall.
The North Carolina General Assembly contributed $9 million to the project.
The soaring, modern building will provide training programs in mechanical drafting, electronics engineering technology, automation engineering technology, industrial systems technology and computer integrated machining.
Moore, one of the evening’s speakers, said he doesn’t deserve the recognition but the gesture was “very kind.”
He said the true distinction will be the people who are able to take advantage of the Advanced Technology Center to embark on new careers.
“I’m very honored by this,” Moore said. “But I’m more honored that this building will make a difference in the lives of so many people.”
The airy 30,000-square-foot, two-story building includes a 3D printing computer lab, several classrooms, space for manufacturing companies to come and train workers specifically for the jobs they will be doing, and a metal printing and machining lab. Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership also has office space in the building.
According to the Golden LEAF Foundation, funding came from several sources, including $9 million from the North Carolina General Assembly, $2 million from the Connect NC Bond, and $1.5 million in Community-Based Grant Initiative funding awarded by the Golden LEAF Foundation Board.
“We believe we’ll benefit now and in the future,” said Jason Hurst, Cleveland Community College president.
Scott Hamilton, president and CEO of the Golden LEAF Foundation, said the foundation looks at the distribution of grants as investments and opportunities for job creation.
“A job equals hope, opportunity and dignity,” Hamilton said.
Moore and said Cleveland County is able to uniquely fill the niche for manufacturing and called the facility a “crown jewel.”
“One of the first questions is, do you have workers?” Moore said.
The Speaker Tim Moore Advanced Technology Center will be able to provide those skilled workers, and Moore said the county will have a trained, able and ready workforce for manufacturing companies to utilize.
Bill Carver, president of the North Carolina Community Colleges System, said community colleges prepare individuals for meaningful careers.
He said the new technology center is something one would find at a university.
“I blinked my eyes, and thought I was on a university campus,” Carver said. “Our students deserve this.”
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