As part of a wider master plan to revitalize Chicago’s southwest neighborhoods, Daley College’s Manufacturing Technology and Engineering Center (MTEC) is the embodiment of a community that is energized and future-focused. The game-changing facility houses a curriculum and advanced equipment that prepares highly skilled technicians in fields such as computer-integrated manufacturing, robotics and factory automation—careers that are critical to the regional economy.
With a striking design and physical presence that spans the main thoroughfare of 76th Street, the MTEC serves as a focal point and connector of the Richard J. Daley College campus. The transparency of the building provides students and passersby a look into the advanced technical nature of modern-day manufacturing, spotlighting a pathway to an upwardly mobile career. CannonDesign was the architect of record, engineer of record and education planning lead for the project, working in partnership with design architect JGMA.
Over the next decade, more than 50,000 anticipated jobs in engineering and advanced manufacturing will come to the region, and MTEC graduates will be ready to seize the opportunity. The building is equipped with an expansive high-bay manufacturing space, six labs, four classrooms, administrative offices and communal areas for students, providing an environment that nurtures the skills and training needed for highly specialized, technology-oriented careers.
The advanced equipment—acquired through strategic industry partners such as American Gear Manufacturers Association—includes tabletop laser cutters, multi-axis CNC devices, additive manufacturing equipment, metrology instruments, CAD/CAM and other software, digital connectivity technologies and more.
Industry partners are coming to our students before they graduate to hire them, not waiting for them to complete their programs.Janine Janosky President of Daley College
In addition to Daley College’s traditional slate of programs, the MTEC enables the school to launch pathways to careers in Mechatronics, Sheet Metal Fabrication, Operations Management and Industrial Maintenance. The engineering and advanced manufacturing programs offered are stackable, allowing students to immediately enter the workforce or transfer into a bachelor’s degree program.
With an ever-expanding opportunity for growth within the job market, gone are the days when manufacturing careers were perceived to be mundane or reserved for specific populations. MTEC was designed to inspire confidence and enthusiasm for students pursuing careers in the industry using bright colors, seamless fluidity and transparency throughout the building. Through dynamic spatial organizations and site-responsive architecture, the MTEC provides students and staff a unique experience from the moment they walk into the building.
MTEC has increased Daley College’s manufacturing space by 150%, enabling City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) to serve 1,000 manufacturing students per year—a five-fold increase in CCC manufacturing enrollment.
As the “front door to the campus,” it was imperative that the MTEC provided a literal connection to the school’s main campus and a visual connection to the surrounding community. The building is linked to the legacy college facility via a pedestrian bridge that further expresses the facility’s industrial aesthetic through the use of metal panels, glass and steel, as well as the “Caution Yellow” color of the bridge’s underside. The building’s bold interior finishes and yellow exterior accents echo the brightly colored machinery in the high bay, and the building’s seamless form was inspired by the constant, linear flow of the manufacturing process.