Reinvestment Fund financing is helping the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) develop a new career-based education and training center in West Philadelphia.
Located at CCP’s satellite campus, the new 75,000-square-foot Career and Advanced Technology Center (CATC) will provide employment skills in automotive technology, advanced manufacturing, and healthcare. CCP is targeting the programs to Philadelphia residents, with a special emphasis on the residents of West Philadelphia. The programs will serve adults looking to upgrade their skills, those currently unemployed or underemployed as well as traditional aged students.
CCP’s automotive technology previously ran an 11,000-square-foot building. The other programs run in another building on campus. The new facility will enable CCP to consolidate and expand programs connected to entry level jobs in growing career fields that pay living wages. The facility will offer better equipment and new technology, to improve alignment of the educational programs with employer needs. CCP expects to grow enrollment from about 605 annually to 2,527 at the West Philadelphia campus within five years.
The new facility will also include space for the CCP’s existing Power Up Your Business program, a neighborhood-based entrepreneurship program for small businesses. CCP expects to host at least six workshops and serve at least 20 small businesses annually. It will also house CCP’s Pre-College STEM Academy that offers after-school and summer STEM academic and career exploration programming for students from 5 local schools.
The facility will also include a high-tech fabrication lab designed to promote innovation and creativity, and to facilitate mastery of emerging technologies. It will be accessible to many audiences, including students, industry partners seeking professional development opportunities, and community members interested in using the lab’s resources. The lab will provide a springboard for entrepreneurship and serve as a portal for project based, hands-on STEM education.
Reinvestment Fund is partnering with Urban Research Park and US Bank to provide New Market Tax Credit allocations and financing for the development project. US Bank is the NMTC investor and CCP will provide the leverage loan from proceeds in hand from bond financing and equity. The project has also received Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funds. The project is anticipated to create 46 full time equivalent construction jobs and 21 permanent jobs. The facility will also meet at least a LEED Silver Standard.
CCP serves a large, multiracial student population of over 29,000 students each year. A significant majority of its students are people of color and 63% of its students are female. More than half are first-generation college students and 80% are eligible to receive federal Pell grants. The majority (93%) of students are Philadelphia residents and over 80% of CCP graduates remain employed in the region.