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David Murdock donates land to RCCC for Advanced Technology Center

Published Friday, June 24, 2016
by Independent Tribune Staff Reports

KANNAPOLIS- Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has received a two-acre donation of land for construction of its Advanced Technology Center. The land was donated by David M. Murdock, chairman, CEO and president of Castle & Cooke and NC Research Campus (NCRC) founder.

The new Advanced Technology Center (ATC), a 60,000-square-foot classroom and laboratory building, will be adjacent to the college’s existing facility on the NC Research Campus (NCRC) that offers associate degrees in biotechnology and nursing. Murdock made a donation of two acres of land for the construction of the ATC in recognition of the important role workforce development plays in supporting businesses in the region, including the NCRC, that are transferring scientific and technical advances into the global marketplace.

“On behalf of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees, I sincerely thank David Murdock for generously providing land for the Advanced Technology Center on the NC Research Campus,” commented Carl M. Short, chair of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees. “The location will leverage the resources of the North Carolina Research Campus with the College’s history of workforce development to bring wonderful new opportunities to our region.”

The ATC will provide industry-recognized certifications, hands-on skills and customized training and support services to address the educational needs of companies with high technology demands and in emerging fields.

“The Advanced Technology Center will be a flagship to attract employers to the region and will allow the college to bring a higher level of training and education to the community, increasing participation in high-wage jobs,” emphasized Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. “Employment in advanced technology is constantly evolving and this facility will allow us to ensure that the local workforce remains qualified and current, key components of economic development.”

Castle & Cooke North Carolina Vice President of Operations Mark Spitzer added, “As a result of Mr. Murdock’s generosity, we at Castle & Cooke are proud to support the addition of the ATC which will enhance the campus’ role not only as a premier center of scientific research, but as an engine for workforce and economic advancement for Kannapolis and the surrounding region.”

The concept for the ATC originated from interviews with experts in information technology, energy, manufacturing, construction and healthcare fields, along with conversations with other local colleges, economic development leaders and futurists from the local service region. Funding for the ATC was approved by Cabarrus County residents in the 2014 Rowan-Cabarrus bond referendum with over 64 percent of the vote.

“We are proud to provide the additional funding for the state-of-the-art educational space,” said Steve Morris, chair of the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners and member of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees. “The community’s overwhelming support verified that our community values the educational opportunities that the center brings. It is a game-changer for our region as we strive to strengthen our economic and workforce development.”

In addition to the funding from Cabarrus County and the land donation from Murdock, the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation is supporting the ATC, and the college is exploring grants and donations to provide equipment for the training. The college will also pursue partnerships with local and national suppliers for laboratories and programs.

“We are working diligently to revolutionize our economic development environment and the ATC is one more piece of the puzzle we need on the North Carolina Research Campus,” said Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant. “By capitalizing on our partnerships with Mr. Murdock and Rowan-Cabarrus, we are developing more job and educational opportunities for people of all ages in Kannapolis. We will now have the complete spectrum on the campus – research to cutting edge manufacturing. We cannot wait for the doors to open.”

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