The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently selected Morgan Community College (MCC) to receive a $300,000 Advanced Technological
Education (ATE) grant. The NSF funding will support MCC’s project, “Industrial Controls and Telematics Across Disciplines,” and lead to the creation of an Industrial Controls Technician (ICT) Certificate program. Funding begins May 1, 2019 and runs through April 30, 2022.
Andrea L’Heureux, MCC’s Dean of Workforce Development, will serve as the Principal Investigator on the grant. “There has been conversation over the last few years with local industry partners of the need for a more specialized workforce specific to industrial controls,” stated L’Heureux. “Industry 4.0 is about avoiding unplanned manufacturing downtime through predictive maintenance and improving efficiency. So many of our local industries have very sophisticated automated systems that require strong technical skills. This funding will help MCC create a specialized certificate program to meet these very specific needs.”
Students from MCC’s existing Precision Agriculture as well as Electromechanical Technology (previously known as Industrial Electrical Maintenance Mechanic) programs will have the opportunity to expand their skills through the courses offered an ICT certificate program.
“It has been exciting for me to observe how Morgan Community College has connected with local industry partners to meet the needs of an ever-changing job market,” stated Jeffery Davidson, Precision Agriculture Faculty. “The ICT certificate program will help equip the next generation of professionals that will be managing the technology associated with industrial control systems in manufacturing. Precision Agriculture Technology graduates will have the training to integrate new developments in telematics as a way to remotely monitor and manage on-farm technology. I really appreciate MCC’s vision in pursuing an NSF grant to help make this program a reality.”
“This grant marks the first funding received by Morgan Community College through the National Science Foundation,” said Dr. Curt Freed, MCC President. “The new Industrial Controls Technician courses are a significant benefit to the workforce necessary for our agriculture, food, and manufacturing employers throughout the region.”
An advisory council comprised of representatives from local manufacturers, farmers, and agricultural industry will help guide the ICT program development and implementation.
For additional information on the grant (ID number 1902290) or upcoming training opportunities, contact Andrea L’Heureux at Andrea.LHeureux@MorganCC.edu or (970) 542-3166. To learn more about MCC’s Precision Agriculture and Electromechanical Technology programs, please visit www.morgancc.edu.
About the National Science Foundation:
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” With an annual budget of $8.1 billion (FY 2019), NSF is the funding source for approximately 27 percent of the total federal budget for basic research conducted at U.S. colleges and universities. For more information, visit www.nsf.gov.