The State Fair Community College Board of Trustees discussed the progress of the Olen Howard Workforce Innovation Center during Thursday’s work session and meeting.
On Dec. 3, Darlene Bradbury and Shirley Rowden, the daughters of Howard, on behalf of their family, made a significant contribution described at the time as one of the “largest single gifts given to the SFCC Foundation in history.”
The Foundation has received approximately $1.6 million in confirmed gifts for the project that is projected to cost slightly more than $10.6 million. An additional $507,000 has been pledged toward the facility. SFCC has also received $50,000 in Neighborhood Assistance Program Grants as well as a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant.
SFCC Foundation Board President Joe Fischer and Foundation Vice President Steve Ellebracht were introduced to the board as the co-chairs of the capital campaign for the center.
When complete, the center will be a 38,488-square-foot technical training facility near the site of the original campus buildings.
According to information in a grant written by SFCC Foundation Executive Director Mary Treuner, the Howard center will be “the cornerstone for SFCC’s Center for Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing.” The grant proposal is seeking $2 million in funding from the Sunderland Foundation for the project.
The center will house the college’s welding technology and precision machining technology programs. It will also provide instructional space for pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship students.
“We can’t respond to new needs by many of the businesses in the area because our flexibility is limited because of a lack of space,” Vice President of Education and Student Support Brent Bates said. “We have strong demands for training that are difficult to meet now because of our current student needs.”
As part of the Stronger Workforce, Greater Community Capital Campaign brochure, according to Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County, approximately 1,200 new jobs are anticipated over the next five years (prior to COVID-19) to the area. The average earning potential of each job is more than $59,000 a year, which represents an overall economic impact to the local economy of approximately $1 billion annually.
SFCC President Dr. Joanna Anderson told the trustees the college hopes to host a groundbreaking for the facility in early November.
During the president’s report, Anderson provided the trustees with a COVID-19 update. As of Thursday afternoon, three employees have tested positive for the virus and an additional six are quarantined. Fifteen students have confirmed cases of the virus with 65 other students quarantined.
In other actions, trustees voted to:
• Approve the purchase of one Mark II 3D Printer Package (Onyx One 3D Printer and Onyx Pro 3D Printer) for $22,700 from Engineering Design and Technology Consultants of Springfield. The materials will be used by Precision Machining Department. The funding source is 75% Enhancement grant and 25% operating funds.
• Accept the bid from Snap-on Industrial of Crystal Lake, Illinois, for a Starrett Precision Measuring Instruments (PMI) Kit for $34,953.79. The purchase will be used by the Welding Department. The funding source is 75% Enhancement grant and 25% operating funds.
• Approve the payment of $2,840,872 in bills for August.
Trustee Nick La Strada was absent from the work session. Trustee Jim Page was absent from the work session and board meeting.