FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AURORA, CO. – On Monday, September 19th the Community College of Aurora (CCA) broke ground on its historic new Center for STEM, Power Mechanics, and Applied Technologies, the first new building in nearly two decades for the institution. This new building will produce and ensure students are prepared to enter directly into the workforce and/or transfer to four-year institutions, through pathways in construction, diesel power mechanics, engineering, cyber security, renewable energy, and other STEM pathways in math, science and applied technology.
Monday’s event drew an audience of 350+ individuals.“This new building will change lives,” said CCA’s President, Dr. Mordecai Ian Brownlee. “We are embarking on a historic event for both our college and the community,” Brownlee continued.
To view pictures from this historic event visit, ccaurora.edu/groundbreaking-photos and to watch our feature on Aurora TV click HERE.
Colorado Community College System (CCCS) Chancellor Joe Garcia; the Honorable Senator Rollie Heath; the Honorable Senator Rhonda Fields; Arapahoe County Commissioner Nancy Jackson; City of Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman; and APS Superintendent Rico Munn were just a few of the public officials who spoke at Monday’s affair. The project is well underway due to the generous support of the Arapahoe County Commissioners $3.5 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) contribution. In addition, Pat Hamill (Chairman and CEO of Oakwood Homes), Bruce Wagner (CEO of Wagner Equipment), and George Eidsness (President of Transwest) have come together as a tri-chair team to commit another $2 million towards the project.
Dr. Bobby Pace, (CCA’s Vice President of Academic Success) spoke briefly on the academic majors and credentialing that will be housed in the new building and workforce projections for these programs. “Over the next 10 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects there to be 821,300 new openings for STEM jobs, according to recent estimates…this building will ensure that our students are filling these jobs.”
“I’m confident that this new center will help prepare many students for in-demand careers and help them achieve success, just like CCA has done for me,” added Noel Beauchamp, Monday’s student speaker and a graduate of CCA’s construction management program and a currently enrolled student in BuildStrong Academy’s Superintendent program. BuildStrong Academy, ”was founded specifically to address the serious problem facing the construction industry’s persistent shortage of skilled labor. The organization has partnered with CCA to expand both its reach and academic programming within the new building.”
“We are in the hope and opportunity business,” said Aurora Public School (APS) Superintendent Rico Munn when addressing the crowd of attendees. The Community College of Aurora and APS are expected to announce a partnership in the coming weeks that will ensure an increased footprint for high school students on CCA’s campus by offering P-Tech programming.
Dr. Brownlee closed by saying, “social and economic mobility is what the Community College is about. Once again, this new building will make certain of that.”
The new Center for STEM, Power Mechanics, and Applied Technologies building is expected to be completed for students Fall 2024. Individuals can also text “CCAStem” to the number 41444 to receive a secure link to learn more about this project.