USC Aiken & Department of Energy break ground on $50M innovation hub

April 19th, 8:00 AM EDT

AIKEN, S.C. (WFXG) - It's official! USC Aiken and the Department of Energy broke ground on the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative (AMC) Tuesday at the intramural field. FOX54 first told you about the expansion in a Cyber News Now segment. 

The AMC will be a $50M innovation hub for new learning opportunities at USC Aiken. Students will be able to practice manufacturing, industrial practices, chemical manufacturing and advancing new technologies. Essentially, the building is centered around cybersecurity and engineering education. It's the result of a public-private partnership between the university and the DOE.

Dr. Sandra Jordan says this ground breaking is more than just turning over of dirt.

"We could see how the little spark would, with work, maybe a little faith, and a whole lot of energy, would become a light that could illuminate the deep partnerships between community, industry, the Department of Energy, education and a partnership with our local delegates, Governor McMaster and our congressional members. Ground breaking will be the research that's done at the AMC. There will be ground breaking partnerships that we may not have seen in the past that will flourish here." said Jordan, USC Aiken Distinguished Chancellor Emerita.

Congressman Joe Wilson says he has worked with Rep. Rick Allen to help bring this to USC Aiken. 

"I'm really grateful to see the collaboration we have. It really has been a good example of how members of congress can work together, we do work together, and the jobs that are created...I mean, these are real jobs right here and many jobs, thousands of jobs ultimately due to the research and training that's being done here." said Representative Joe Wilson.

According to the Department of Energy, more people involved with the AMC means a bigger impact. Environmental Management Office Senior Advisor Ike White says this also helps with the Environmental Cleanup Program. 

"You can't meet the national security missions of the site without people and a facility like this will be instrumental over the next few decades helping us build the pipework or pipeline that we need to be successful with our clean up and national security missions." said White.

North Wind Construction is responsible for the build.

"We have a longstanding relationship with the DOE. We were glad to be considered for the construction team to bring this vision through. It's just state of the art." Brent Brooks, North Wind Construction President.

Work begins summer 2022. The AMC is expected to be completed by 2024.

Copyright 2022 WFXG. All rights reserved.