This article was submitted by Joliet Junior College:
The public is invited to the grand opening for the Joliet Junior College Health Professions Center (U-Building) on Tuesday, March 12, on the Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet.
The event will start with an opening ceremony and guest speakers at 4 p.m., followed by a reception and tours of the building from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
The 124,000-square-foot building first opened for classes in January 2013, and is now home to the following programs:
- Nursing, CNA/LPN/RN
- Fire science/EMS
- Radiologic Technology
Sustainable features of the building include a roof cistern that captures rainwater for toilet flushing and a ground-based geoexchange system that reduces the heating and cooling load.
The Health Professions Center was funded by a portion of the $89 million building bond referendum approved by voters in November 2008.
Beyond providing state-of-the-art learning resources for health care programs, the new building will also help fulfill the college’s role in the district as a vital resource for career preparation.
Employment projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2008 through 2018 reveal that the health care and social assistance industry will make up approximately 26 percent of all new jobs created in the U.S. economy, which add up to four million new jobs.
And in a recent report by the Workforce Boards of Metropolitan Chicago, the health care and social assistance field is also projected to have the largest increase in jobs through 2020, expected to add more than 80,000 jobs through 2015 and more than 140,000 through 2020.
With future growth and additional programs in mind, the building design incorporates the utmost flexibility and room for expansion. Movable walls and furniture enable the auditorium to adapt to audiences ranging from 20 to 150, and with identical classrooms on the first and second floors, all departments will have access to them as needed.
“As a vital, life-changing resource for thousands of students, JJC is demonstrating its commitment to training and preparing skilled health care workers by investing in the Health Professions Center,” said Nursing, Allied Health and Emergency Services Department Chair Mary Beth Luna.
"With health care careers only expected to grow in the coming years, this building could not come at a better time for those needing job training in our community.”