Cleveland Community College’s Center for Advanced Technology unveiled its new name at its grand opening Wednesday.
The name, which has been kept under wraps for several months, was revealed as a speaker to a group of supporters, community college staff, county leaders and others after a series of presentations by the Tim Moore Center for Advanced Technology.
The $15 million center, named for North Carolina House and House Speaker Tim Moore, will welcome its first students this fall.
The North Carolina State Legislature contributed $9 million to the project.
The towering, modern building will offer training courses in mechanical drawing, electrical engineering technology, automation engineering technology, industrial systems technology and computer-integrated machining.
Moore, one of the speakers on the night, said he should not have been recognized but the gesture was “very kind.”
The real difference, he said, will be those who can take advantage of advanced technology centers to start new careers.
“I’m very honored by that,” Moore said. “But I’m even more honored that this building will change 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 train workers for the jobs they’ll be doing, and a metal printing and machining lab. The Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership also has office space in the building.
According to the Gold Leaf Foundation, funding came from multiple sources, including $9 million from the North Carolina General Assembly, $2 million from Connect NC Bond, and $1.5 million in community grant program funding awarded by the Gold Leaf Foundation Board of Directors .
“We believe we will benefit now and in the future,” said Cleveland Community College President Jason Hurst.
Scott Hamilton, president and CEO of the Gold Leaf Foundation, said the foundation views the distribution of grants as an opportunity to invest and create jobs.
“Work equals hope, opportunity and dignity,” Hamilton said.
Moore said Cleveland County is uniquely able to fill a manufacturing niche, calling the facility “the jewel in the crown.”
“The first question is, do you have workers?” Moore said.
Speaker Tim Moore’s Center for Advanced Technology will be able to provide these skilled workers, and Moore said the county will have a well-trained, capable and ready workforce for manufacturing companies to use.
Bill Carver, president of the North Carolina Community College System, said community colleges prepare individuals for meaningful careers.
The new tech hub is something that can be found at universities, he said.
“I blinked and thought I was on a college campus,” Carver said. “Our students deserve it.”
Rebecca Sitzes can be reached at email@example.com