ATTC receives $1.5 million boost in state budget

As part of a legislative effort to support statewide economic development and clean environment, the Advanced Transportation Technology Center at Linn-Benton Community College received $1.5 million in Oregon’s adopted state budget.

The funding was an economic development allocation that came from outside the higher education budget. It will help build and equip phases II and III of the center, which will include space to provide training in alternative fuel vehicles for mechanics already working, as well as a new home for the heavy equipment/diesel technology program.

The initial idea to advance the state’s economic development goals via support of the ATTC came from the Governor’s office, which included it in the Business Oregon budget. When it was cut from the budget, a bipartisan coalition of 21 State Representatives petitioned the budget co-chairs to include it elsewhere. State senators from throughout Oregon also helped with the effort.

“We’ve received interest and support of this effort from every corner of the state – and from across the nation,” said LBCC President Greg Hamann. “We’re grateful, but not surprised by the widespread support of this project. It’s already making a difference.”

The Southern Willamette Regional Solutions Advisory Committee listed this as one of its priorities. Because this was a statewide economic development effort, LBCC advocated that this be an economic development allocation rather than educational appropriation. The legislature decided to add money to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission budget.

Voter’s approved partial funding for the remainder of the project as part of a funding package on the Nov. 2014 ballot. The college continues to work with industry, industry associations and private donors to raise the remaining $2 million to complete the project.

Phase I of the ATTC opened in 2013, addressing the needs of automobile mechanics who will need to work on both traditional and alternative fuel passenger vehicles. Phase I was built with $6.7 million, which was a combination of $3.6 million in federal, local and state funds in addition to $3.1 million of private funds from industry and individuals.


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