southwestern illinois college

New technology academy in Belleville, Ill., expected to attract manufacturers

May 10, 2021
Southwestern Illinois College is receiving $7.5 million to establish an Advanced Manufacturing Center.

A new manufacturing academy at Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) in Belleville is expected to bring more manufacturers to the area, state officials say.

The college is expected to break ground later this year for the Advanced Manufacturing Center, and students will start classes there by fall 2022, reports The Belleville News

SWIC has received $7.5 million through the Rebuild Illinois capital plan  to establish the center , which will include a 31,100 square-feet lab space. The school will offer industrial electricity and welding manufacturing training.

Along with healthcare and transportation, manufacturing is one of the largest industry clusters in southwest Illinois. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity projected an 0.7% employment increase between 2012 and 2022, from 21,373 jobs to 21,525. Manufacturing is the most concentrated industry cluster in the region. Southwest Illinois’ manufacturing workforce is nearly three times as concentrated as the typical region.

Heartland Community College in Normal, Ill., is also receiving $7.5 million through Rebuild Illinois to establish its own manufacturing academy that will focus on electric vehicles.

SWIC’s Sam Wolf campus in Granite City hosts an industrial technology center, but SWIC President Nick Mance says the Belleville location is more accessible for people in East St. Louis, Belleville and St. Louis.

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