Pine Technical and Community College has received notice that they will be the recipients of $21.4 million in funding toward a technical and trades lab addition and renovation as part of this session’s $2.6 billion bonding bill. Across the Minnesota State College system, colleges are receiving a total of $181 million.
The technical and trades lab addition and renovation will renovate 15,025 sq. feet and construct 25,000 sq. feet in the high demand programs such as healthcare, manufacturing and automotive technology. This project and planning began when PTCC received $635,000 in planning money from the legislature in 2020. The project is scheduled to begin next spring and progress the next 18 months.
College president, Joe Mulford, said that this is the single largest investment in career technical education in the region’s history. “Our area legislators were key to getting this finally funded,” he added. “Representative Nelson and Senator Rarick were unwavering in their support of building more career technical education opportunities in our region.”
Senator Jason Rarick said of the recent development, “This is such an important project for the area, and this expansion will give Pine Tech the room needed to train our future workforce in these much needed fields. I am so happy we have finally secured the funding to get this project going.”
What made the college a strong contender for the funding was that they are one of the few colleges in the state that has had positive enrollment numbers and are the only career and technical education college in the region. “This made us noticeable to our legislators,” said college media relations director, Katie Koppy.
This modernization and expansion project will create a more sustainable, comfortable and technologically advanced learning environment for current and future students, Koppy added. This project aids the college’s long-term growth strategy of serving and training more than 4,000 students a year. This project will improve access to critical workforce skills for east central Minnesota residents and students, while faculty and staff are able to strengthen the support offered to students through improved educational programs and services.
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