Engineering Education: Festo supports mechatronics training center
Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) in Brentwood, NY, in partnership with Festo unveiled a new Advanced Mechatronics Training Center. The center incorporates advanced, high-tech manufacturing and process control equipment providing world-class training capabilities. The hope is to create greater awareness among students, school systems, industry leaders, workforce development agencies, economic development agencies and government officials about the variety of career paths that exist in the manufacturing field.
As part of this mission to provide affordable higher education and workforce development opportunities, SCCC applied for and received a three-year $2.4 million federal grant through the U.S. Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration to train workers for advanced manufacturing. This resulted in a new curriculum– Mechatronics – that will give the manufacturing workforce more highly developed skills increasing their employment opportunities and salary levels. More than 200 workers from more than 38 manufacturing companies have enrolled in the college’s mechatronics certificate program since last spring. The college also plans to offer an associate degree program in the field next fall.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that more than 10 million skilled factory jobs will be unfilled by the year 2020. Festo takes the position that it is essential that high-tech, specialized training be made available to students and to the current workforce. As a global manufacturer of high technology, factory automation systems, Festo says it is committed to working with other community colleges throughout the United States to establish training centers to keep up with the technology.
— C.G. Masi , senior editor