Fort Morgan, CO 12/14/2021. Morgan Community College (MCC) was selected to receive $1.1 million in HB21-1264 stimulus funds. This funding will be used to construct a new facility for the in-demand Electromechanical Technology (ELMT) and Industrial Controls & Telematics (ICT) programs. The college will also hire a second full-time faculty to support student learning and expansion of these programs. The college is seeking an additional $800,000 or more to build a larger facility for future program needs.
“These programs are being taught now in the garage originally used to house the MCC ambulance for Emergency Medical Services programs. The faculty and students have been incredibly flexible with such limited space, but this funding will allow the college to dedicate a new facility to meet the growing needs of the programs,” said Dr. Curt Freed, MCC President. “The $1.1 million will allow MCC to build a very basic facility without traditional finishes and support space our other facilities include. Our hope is to raise an additional $800,000 or more to build a facility like Poplar Hall that the college constructed two years ago for agriculture programs. A larger facility would also give space to offer more programs, like manufacturing technology.”
In 2017, MCC implemented the ELMT program to meet industry demand for electricians; maintenance and repair workers; and heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics. Students enrolled in the ELMT program develop an understanding of instrumentation; general maintenance and manufacturing processes; and electricity and its many applications.
Students in the ELMT program have the options of earning certificates in Industrial Electrical and Industrial Maintenance as well as an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. The program also prepares students to register as an electrical journeyman applicant with 2,000 hours towards the 8,000-hour requirement for licensure through the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.
The Industrial Controls and Telematics Program, launched fall of 2021, is a one-year program with an internship. The ICT program was developed through funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and bridged the ELMT and Precision Agriculture programs with additional coursework dedicated to automation and manufacturing needs.
The ICT courses include robotics technology, precision farming hardware, and industrial electric controls, and provide hands-on learning to equip students with specialized skills in electrical, mechanical, and precision agriculture industries.
Since 2017, the ELMT program has experienced significant enrollment growth. This has created a need for increased space to accommodate larger class sizes, to assemble and train on large equipment, and to expand the curriculum. Without other local funds to expand the project, the grant funding will provide a basic industrial facility with combined lab and classroom spaces. With additional community funds, the new facility would closely match MCC’s Poplar Hall steel building, to include a multipurpose lab space, classroom space, and faculty offices.
“I am excited to see this program grow and help bring more people to the trades in Colorado,” said lead faculty, George O’Clair. “A larger space to provide hands-on instruction using equipment for the electrical/mechanical trades will allow more people to follow their dreams and earn a sustainable income in the future.”
“A larger building will be good,” stated Alex Muheto, a second-year ELMT student. “We can’t wait to have a bigger building to be comfortable. The current small space is limiting our learning. We need room to work on large equipment.”
“The ELMT program is one of the fastest growing CTE programs offered at MCC,” stated MCC Vice President of Instruction, Kathy Frisbie. “This funding will allow us to build a larger space for this growing program, creating an ideal learning environment that includes state-of-the-art equipment. We are very grateful for the opportunity to improve the learning space for students in this high demand program.”
Community individuals or organizations interested in supporting the development of an expanded facility can contact MCC President, Dr. Curt Freed, at Curt.Freed@Morgancc.edu or (970) 542-3105.
For more information about the ELMT and ICT programs, visit www.Morgancc.edu or call 970-542-3100.
For more information about HB21-1264 Stimulus Funds, visit cwdc.colorado.gov/blog-post/upskilling-reskilling-and-next-skilling-workers-grant.