MONROE– Michigan Gas Utilities President Barbara Nick has announced a $75,000 pledge from Michigan Gas Utilities and Wisconsin Public Service Foundation to the capital campaign for the new Career Technology Center at Monroe County Community College.

Construction of the Career Technology Center is underway, and completion is expected prior to the 2013 fall semester.

To commemorate the gift, MCCC will name the computer classroom in the Career Technology Center in honor of Michigan Gas Utilities and Wisconsin Public Service Foundation.

MGU is a natural gas utility serving more than 165,000 southern Michigan customers in and around Grand Haven, Otsego, Benton Harbor, Coldwater and Monroe. MGU is a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group. Wisconsin Public Service Foundation is the philanthropic entity for MGU and other subsidiaries of Integrys.

The computer classroom in the Career Technology Center will be an open lab that will include technical support to assist students with computer equipment operation, file management procedures, and the use of software-specific programs in relation to Industrial Technology Division program needs.

These will include but are not limited to computer-aided design software such as Solid Works, Auto CAD/Inventor and CATIA; LabView,  a system design software that provides engineers and scientists with the tools needed to create and deploy measurement and control systems through unprecedented hardware integration, and other specialized software.

MCCC plans on equipping the lab with a two-way video over IP system to run classes remotely and hold meetings with attendees at two or more locations.

The video over IP technology was essential during the early stages of the nuclear engineering technology program, when the college literally “hooked up” with another community college to receive portions of the curriculum. Today, MCCC delivers the NUET program instruction in its entirety.  However, the college has been contacted by other community colleges interested in receiving the curriculum via a live video stream over the Internet.

“The Career Technology Center reflects the trustees’ continuing dedication to the future of our citizens, our students, our businesses and industries, and our community at large,” said William J. Bacarella, Jr., chairman of the MCCC Board of Trustees. “I am pleased that Michigan Gas Utilities and the Wisconsin Public Service Foundation share this same dedication by joining us as a partner in this project.”

“This facility is all about jobs and creating a workforce that will allow business and industry to grow,” said MCCC president Dr. David E. Nixon. “We are grateful that Michigan Gas Utilities and the Wisconsin Public Service Foundation have chosen to invest in this exciting facility, which will benefit our community and so many of their customers.”

Barbara Nick, President of Michigan Gas Utilities expressed her appreciation of the relationship between MGU and MCCC and said she was impressed with both the curriculum and the new Career Technology Center.

“This facility is great for the students, as well as the community,” she said.  “MGU is a very technical business and we are pleased to be partnering with Monroe County Community College on such a worthwhile project.”

The Career Technology Center will allow for the updating and expansion of existing programs now housed in the East and West Technology buildings, which are inadequate to meet modern technology needs.

These include program areas such as nuclear engineering, welding, construction, computer-aided drafting and manufacturing, electronics, mechanical engineering and automation, quality assurance, and automotive engineering and service with an emphasis on hybrid and battery technology.

In addition, the Career Technology Center will provide facilities and equipment necessary for the development of programs in the emerging areas of advanced manufacturing; renewable energies such as wind, solar and fuel cell technology, and sustainable and green technologies.

A combination of sustainable systems has been integrated into the design of the facility that will be incorporated into the curriculum. The building will serve as a learning laboratory for students in industrial technology fields.

The total construction cost for the 60,000-square foot facility is $17 million. The state of Michigan will finance half the cost of construction.  The Foundation at MCCC is currently raising funds through a capital campaign to offset the remaining costs.

For more information on the Career Technology Center at Monroe County Community College, including ways to support the new facility, visit


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