BRIDGEPORT — ComEd president and CEO Anne Pramaggiore were joined by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other elected officials Monday providing details on a new training facility set to open its doors in Bridgeport next year.
"We are so excited for the new Chicago training center," Pramaggiore said. "This is second training facility that ComEd has built from the ground up in its 120 years. This site will be the hub where ComEd will built its 21st century workforce."
For two years ComEd had been scouting locations for its new training facility before settling on the Bridgeport location at 3535 S. Iron St.
When doors open next year, the education training center will employ 40 full-time staff and provide training for ComEd's workforce. It will feature 51,000 square feet of classroom and indoor training and a a 138,000-square-foot outdoor training yard. The company expects to train 4,000 employees at the facility annually.
The state-of-the-art training facility is part of a $2.6 billion investment brought about by the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act passed in 2012 by the Illinois General Assembly to modernize the Chicago region's electricity infrastructure.
"It's a great symbol of opportunity coming to this community," State Rep. Edward Acevedo (D-2nd) said. "This facility will make workers the best trained on the latest technology and ultimately make our electric grid more robust and more reliable."
Pramaggiore added: "We think there's great symbolism in building a 21st century training center for a digital economy, right in here in the heart of a 20th century industrial sector — Iron Street. Iron Street is alive and well in the age of fibers and microprocessors."
Pramaggiore also announced ComEd is in the early stages of developing a ComEd Energy Academy in partnership with Chicago Public Schools at the new training facility. Curriculum will include basic principles of electric systems, OSHA standards and other content unique to the industry.
"The academy will offer academic and occupational preparation to area junior and seniors through classroom instruction, mentorship and paid internships," Pramaggiore said.
Emanuel thanked ComEd for the additional commitment to students in the city of Chicago and an opportunity for a good-paying job in the city.
Adam Pollet, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce echoed Emanuel's sentiments.
"The race for economic development is a race for talent," Pollet said. "You have to invest in your workforce, you have to invest in your education system to win that race, you have to marry that to innovation. That's exactly what this center is doing."
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