Gadsden State receives $12 million for East Gadsden manufacturing center

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Gadsden State Community College was granted $12 million in the Education Supplemental Appropriation Bill recently approved by Alabama legislators and signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey.

The money will be used in constructing and equipping the Advanced Manufacturing and Workforce Skills Training Center on the East Broad Campus in Gadsden.

“The $12 million that was set aside in the supplemental budget for Gadsden State is a direct result of the support and advocacy of our legislators,” President Dr. Kathy Murphy said. “We appreciate our legislators and their support of Gadsden State and the Alabama Community College System.”

Nearly $522 million in new funding for institutions was approved in the education budget and supplemental bill.

Some of the highlights from the supplemental bill include:
• $316,237,500 for expenses associated with construction and renovation projects at Alabama Community College System institutions, including Gadsden State’s Advanced Manufacturing Center
• $103 million for the construction and equipping of facilities for inmate education in state prison facilities
• $30 million for career technical facilities and equipment upgrades
• $31 million to establish the Alabama Centers for Rural Healthcare Opportunities, a collaboration between the community colleges, rural healthcare employers and communities
• $5 million for deferred maintenance, renovation of existing facilities or expenses associated with ongoing capital projects at institutions
• $1 million for the Innovation Center

Highlights from the Education Budget include:
• Funding for a two percent pay raise for community college employees on Board of Trustees approved salary schedules
• Funding for a 30-year step increase, meaning an additional approximate 3 percent pay raise for long-serving employees with 30 or more years of service

“This historic level of support is a clear demonstration of the confidence that Alabama policymakers have in [Alabama Community College System] and our employees,” Alabama Community College System Chancellor Jimmy Baker said.

Murphy was joined by Baker and other education leaders on July 28 to announce the construction of the 50,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art center. Since that day, she has maintained that facility will change the lives of those in the community “for good, forever.”

“I’m so proud that Gadsden State was selected by our leadership in Montgomery to be home to a facility that will change lives for good, forever,” Murphy said. “The Advanced Manufacturing Center will train and educate Alabama’s workforce. We are providing reskilling and upskilling for our adults. We are jumpstarting the careers of our young people through career technical opportunities. Gadsden State is providing positive change and progress to the communities we serve.”

Rep. Ginny Shaver (R-Leesburg), a former Gadsden State student and a supporter of the center’s construction, agreed with Murphy.

“The Advanced Manufacturing Center will have a meaningful impact on the lives of real people,” Shaver said. “By providing first-class facilities and workforce training opportunities for our citizens, Gadsden State is assisting the next generation of industrial and manufacturing leaders.”

Gadsden State broke ground for the facility on Feb. 21. The construction of the Advanced Manufacturing Center is approximately $24 million with funding also coming from a statewide bond issue passed by the Alabama Legislature in 2020 to provide funding for facility upgrades and new construction for all levels of education.

The center will feature 10 laboratories, seven classrooms, 11 offices, a multipurpose room, 10 tool and storage rooms, a storm shelter, a testing suite, a kitchen and serving area, a breakroom and six restroom areas. It will also feature glass viewing areas that allow prospective students and industry partners to have laboratory visibility during tours; a safety entrance for students loading and unloading from cars or buses; and a digital display with information for job seekers and industry partners.

For more information on the Advanced Manufacturing and Workforce Skills Training Center, visit gadsdenstate.edu/amc.

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