College Invests $90M in New Construction Training Facility

According to Dave Horst, director of trades, students will receive valuable hands-on training, including the chance to connect electrical wiring, work on plumbing, and more.

📅   Wed September 20, 2017 - National Edition
Emily Buenzle


Metropolitan Community College's Fort Omaha campus' $90 million construction project was completed in time for fall classes, and was created in response to the school's goal to train workers for jobs in high-demand trades, including welding and plumbing.
Metropolitan Community College's Fort Omaha campus' $90 million construction project was completed in time for fall classes, and was created in response to the school's goal to train workers for jobs in high-demand trades, including welding and plumbing.

A Nebraska college recently built new facilities to accommodate construction trades training.

Metropolitan Community College's Fort Omaha campus' $90 million construction project was completed in time for fall classes, and was created in response to the school's goal to train workers for jobs in high-demand trades, including welding and plumbing, the Omaha World-Herald reported. Private sector donations for the project totaled $45 million, with the college providing the rest.

According to Bob Braun, executive director of the Lozier Foundation, one of the project's donors, Omaha residents will now have the opportunity to train for jobs that will support their families. “That was really the idea behind the grant,” Braun said. “That's what we cared about.”

The center will be the new home to existing programs that have been located both at Fort Omaha and surrounding campuses, including:

  • construction technology
  • electrical technology
  • plumbing
  • welding
  • heating and air conditioning
  • architectural design, and more.
  • According to Dave Horst, director of trades, students will receive valuable hands-on training, including the chance to connect electrical wiring, work on plumbing, and more, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

    “When we tell them they get real-life experience, it's pretty much real-life experience,” said Horst.

    The facility's features include:

  • clear walls so students can see pipes and electrical lines
  • LED lights with changing colors to showcase duct work
  • a space for students to build houses and work on other large-scale projects
  • a separate building that houses the Center for Advanced and Emerging Technology, which provides businesses, workers and students the chance to test and train with cutting-edge industrial technology, including prototypes, production lines, drones, robots, 3_dprinters, laser cutters, plasma-cutting technology, and more. The center includes a data-center lab and a 12,000 sq.-ft. area for businesses can train workers and create prototypes of new parts and more.
  • “I think that, honestly, it's breathtaking,” said Ryan Bumstead, a 24-year-old student and worker in the Center for Advanced and Emerging Technology. “We are going places I never would have expected a community college to have gone.”

    For Associate Vice President of Metropolitan Community College Tom Pensabene, the Center “is all about industry partnerships. It's all about getting people into a job as quickly as possible.”

    The College's President, Randy Schmailzl, echoed those sentiments, saying that it is the college's hope to become a go-to resource for area trades the Omaha World-Herald reported.

    Click here to read more about the latest in construction education.