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Ozarks Technical Community College's $40 million Robert W. Plaster Center for Advanced Manufacturing made its debut this morning.
Called the PMC, the center's opening was celebrated by local and state stakeholders, including Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, according to a news release.
“We envisioned the Plaster Manufacturing Center to be an economic catalyst to the entire region,” said Hal Higdon, OTC chancellor, in the release. “As the first advanced manufacturing training facility in the state, the PMC will not only educate the next generation of workers, but it will attract new businesses to the area looking to hire these highly skilled graduates.”
Crossland Construction Co. Inc. served as general contractor for the 120,000-square-foot project designed by Dake Wells Architecture Inc. and its national partner, Minneapolis-based Perkins & Will Inc., according to past reporting.
Located prominently at OTC's Springfield campus – the corner of Chestnut Expressway and National Avenue – the PMC represents OTC's desire to boost advanced manufacturing training in response to education and workforce needs in the community.
“We have people who want to go to work, and now we have people who will be trained to go to work,” Kehoe said in the release. “There are thousands and thousands of young men and women who will benefit from the Plaster Manufacturing Center.”
It will be home to seven of OTC's technical training programs: automation and robotics, cybersecurity, drafting and design, information technology infrastructure, manufacturing technology, mechatronics and precision machining. Roughly 15,000 square feet is designated as industry partner space, where local companies can train employees, create operational processes for new equipment, and conduct research and development, according to the release.
At the event, Higdon said Lebanon-based manufacturer DT Engineering would be an industry partner at the PMC, occupying 15,000 square feet in the building. The plan is to move in Oct. 1, said owner and CEO Jim Sheldon, declining to disclose lease terms. The company’s facility in Lebanon will remain in operation.
The center is projected to create an economic impact on the region over the next decade to the tune of $400 million, based on a 2017 economic impact study.
Voters approved a 5-cent property tax increase for the college in April 2018, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held in late 2020. OTC has received several donations for the PMC, including six-figure gifts from the likes of SRC Holdings Corp., the Gentry family and Rick's Automotive.
The PMC is led by Executive Director Robert Randolph, who in June spoke about the project for Springfield Business Journal’s 12 People You Need to Know live interview series.
The nonprofit moves into its new campus.