Several members of business and industry as well as faculty and staff gathered in Cleveland State’s Technology building on Wednesday, for a media conference designed to discuss the plans for CSCC’s new Mechatronics Institute. The institute is a new, innovative approach to attaining an Associate of Applied Science in Mechatronics Technology and has been described as an “Honors Mechatronics program.” Prospective students will be selectively chosen and accepted based on: academic success, scholastic capability, a written essay and panel interviews with industry partners and a scholastic committee at CSCC.
Dr. Bill Seymour, CSCC president, welcomed the group by stating, “Cleveland State’s Advanced Technologies and OneSource programs have achieved a position of strength that allows us to effectively meet the training and educational needs of area business and industry. Today we take another step forward by introducing a unique program that connects area schools, manufacturers and the college to meet the pressing need for skilled employees.”
Tim Wilson, Advanced Technologies Department chair, discussed CSCC’s new Mechatronics Associate of Applied Science degree and certificate programs. CSCC Advanced Technology faculty teaching the Mechatronics curriculum have recently undergone special training and are certified to deliver the pedagogy of the Siemens Mechatronics Systems Certification Program (SMSCP) which affords the students to test for both Levels I and II certifications.
“We are very excited to announce today that, beginning next year, we will add a new support leg of the Mechatronics program, designed for those students who desire additional challenge in their pursuit of a career in industry,” said Mr. Wilson. “The Mechatronics Institute is this new opportunity for aspiring students.”
Marci Reiter, Cooperative Education coordinator / Mechatronics Institute chair, provided an overview of the program. According to Ms. Reiter, the institute was designed for students who will supplement their classroom learning with real-world training in a manufacturing setting. Students will spend two to three days in class and two to three days at the workplace. This unique design offers an opportunity for students to immediately apply what they learn in the classroom to a real work experience and to earn competitive wages while attending college.
Attendees were also able to hear the benefits first-hand from members of the industry who have agreed to be a part of this inaugural program.
Jason Hobbs, HR business partner, McKee Foods Corporation, said, “The Mechatronics Institute is creating opportunities for collaborating companies to get talented, young adults in the door so one of our most valuable assets (our people) can share and teach what they know before deciding on retirement…We chose to join because we see the need for developing a technical workforce that will be ready for the challenges of tomorrow—keeping industry strong in Tennessee.”
Lisa Pickel, director of Existing Industry Programs, Cleveland / Bradley Chamber of Commerce, said, “Our region has been so economically blessed. In just the past few years, we have seen new industries come to our region, many existing industries have expanded creating new jobs and the overall stability of all our existing industries is only growing. This program is truly a win-win for all involved. We need workers, and CSCC’s Mechatronics institute is a great program in maintaining the economic success in our region.”
For more information on CSCC’s Mechatronics program or any other Advanced Technologies programs, contact Mr. Wilson at (423) 472-7141, ext. 447. For more information on the Mechatronics Institute, contact Ms. Reiter at (423) 472-7141, ext. 718.