Prent Makes Donation to Blackhawk’s New Manufacturing Center as Construction Begins
October 19, 2023
Left to right: Joe Stadelman, Principal Architect and President of Angus-Young Associates; Lisa Hurda, Director of Advancement and Foundation at Blackhawk; Joe Pregont II, President of Prent; Bobbi Bishofberger, Blackhawk Welding Instructor; Mark Holzman, Janesville School District Superintendent and Blackhawk District Board member; Rachel Pregont Andres, Executive Vice President of Prent; Joe Pregont, CEO of Prent; Dr. Tracy Pierner, President of Blackhawk; Greg Phillips, Dean of Manufacturing, Apprenticeship, Technology and Transportation at Blackhawk; Bryan Coddington, Blackhawk Engineering Technology Instructor; Sam Potts, Chief Estimator at JP Cullen; Dave Holterman, President of the Blackhawk Technical College Foundation and Vice President of First Community Bank; Rob Hendrickson, Frito-Lay Technical Director and Blackhawk District Board member; Rich Deprez, TDS Telecom Network Consultant and Blackhawk District Board member.
The Prent Corporation will donate $250,000 to the Blackhawk Technical College Foundation to fund a cutting-edge manufacturing lab space within the college’s new Innovative Manufacturing Education Center (I-MEC). Rachel Pregont Andres, Prent Corporation Executive Vice President, made the announcement during a groundbreaking ceremony held on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Blackhawk’s Central Campus.
“This is an occasion of immense pride and recognition for the true partnership that exists between Prent, GOEX and the faculty at BTC,” said Andres, who also is a Blackhawk District Board member.
Attended by more than 60 industry partners, community leaders and Blackhawk staff, the groundbreaking event celebrated the start of construction on the I-MEC building. The state-of-the-art facility will be located on the south side of Central Campus and feature resources to support hands-on learning experiences for students in the following programs: Automation Systems Technology, Computer Numeric Control Technician, Electro-Mechanical Technology, Industrial Maintenance Mechanic, Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Welding & Fabrication, and HVAC-R.
Currently, Blackhawk’s manufacturing programs are housed at the Advanced Manufacturing Training Center in Milton, which was previously owned by the Blackhawk Technical College Foundation. In May, the Foundation sold the property to KANDU Industries and then donated the proceeds of $7 million to the college for the new facility at Central Campus.
“The Blackhawk Foundation recognized why this made sense for the college and, more importantly, why this made sense for our students,” said Dave Holterman, President of the Blackhawk Technical College Foundation and Vice President of First Community Bank.
Anticipated for completion by fall 2024, the I-MEC building will encompass approximately 52,000 square feet and include dedicated welding areas and specialized laboratory facilities, including a manufacturing cell provided by Prent. The existing administration building will connect to the new facility and transformed into classrooms. Construction is being managed by JP Cullen, with architectural expertise provided by Angus-Young Associates. Blackhawk’s manufacturing classes will continue to be held at the Milton facility through the spring semester.
About the Blackhawk Technical College Foundation
Established in 1978 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Blackhawk Technical College Foundation is the bridge between the generosity of philanthropic donors to our students, faculty, and the College by providing resources necessary to make college possible for all. The Foundation provides student support through scholarships and student emergency assistance awards as well as through investment in facilities and resources that enable student success.
Left to right: Dave Holterman, President of the Blackhawk Technical College Foundation; Dr. Tracy Pierner, President of Blackhawk; Joe Pregont, CEO of Prent; Rachel Pregont Andres, Executive Vice President of Prent; Lisa Hurda, Director of Advancement and Foundation at Blackhawk; Joe Pregont II, President of Prent.