RVC Opens New Technology Training Center

After nearly a decade of discussion and planning, Rock Valley College officially opened its Advanced Technology Center (ATC) at a formal ribbon-cutting event on March 30, 2022. A video of the official ribbon-cutting ceremony is included below.

The new 77,000 square-foot facility is located off Business 20 in Belvidere and houses many of RVC's manufacturing, technology, and industrial-based programs. The ATC will offer credit and non-credit programs, including certificate programs and stackable credential models, to help students advance faster.

"The ATC will be a regional training hub that will address the workforce pipeline in some of our area's most needed fields like manufacturing, transportation, and logistics," said RVC President Dr. Howard Spearman. "We will do this through existing programs and customized training designed to address the specific and unique needs of our industry partners."

The following programs are currently offered at the ATC: welding, mechatronics, CNC machining, forklift training, English as a Second Language (ESL), and traffic safety.

While the RVC Board of Trustees began conversations about a training center nearly a decade ago, the project located at 1400 Big Thunder Boulevard officially launched in June 2020. Proposals for the ATC were received from across the College district. Ultimately, the RVC Board of Trustees approved the proposal from Belvidere School District, and construction began in January 2021.

Classes officially began at the facility in January 2022. Welding student Erica Turner recalls that experience with awe.

"It wasn't until we got here that we realized how much of an impact the facility would have on our experience," she said. "Our jaws literally dropped when we first stepped into our new lab."

She continued, "I am so proud to be a part of ATC's history. Being a part of the first class, we get to leave a footprint for the students who follow."

The Rock Valley College Foundation is working hard behind the scenes to make sure the future is bright for students pursuing programs at the ATC. The RVC Foundation has embarked on a student-focused campaign (RVC Strong) to raise $1 Million in student scholarship dollars for our region's high-priority occupations, including those offered at the ATC. Every dollar given to RVC Strong is restricted to student scholarships, success resources, and a new RVC Strong crisis relief fund for students facing sudden job loss, homelessness, or medical crisis.

While the RVC Strong Campaign will continue until December 31, 2022, the RVC Foundation announced that it has already met its campaign goal.

"Thanks to all of our donors who have stepped forward. Their gifts will open access and opportunity through scholarships created as a result of the RVC Strong campaign," said Rock Valley College Foundation Chief Development Officer Brittany Freiberg. "With nine months remaining before our campaign deadline, we will continue to push past our original goal of $1 million. We know the need and opportunity for additional scholarship funding far surpasses our campaign goal."  

For Erica, her time at the ATC is coming to a close. She is set to graduate this spring. But, she offers parting advice for individuals considering RVC. Erica describes her instructors as amazing mentors. "My time at RVC has shown me that I can achieve things I never even thought were possible. If you are looking to come to RVC, it is definitely worth it.”