Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute secures funding for new technical college program
Posted Aug 07, 2013 | Atlanta, GA
On July 29, Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute Coordinator for Education and Workforce Development, John Morehouse, received news that the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation (COI) for Manufacturing will help fund a new pilot program for Georgia’s technical colleges. The COI funds will support the Technical College System of Georgia – Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (TCSG-GTMI) Student Internship Pilot Program with West Georgia Technical College.
“We are proud to have the opportunity to support a program that will initiate collaboration between the University System of Georgia and the TCSG to better prepare our students for the needs of the modern day manufacturing workforce,” said John Zegers, Center Director, Georgia Center of Innovation for Manufacturing. “We expect this program to grow and become a model for collaboration and preparation for filling those positions which are in most need in today's manufacturing landscape.”
Set to kick off this fall, the pilot program will provide paid internships for outstanding students from the TCSG to work at GTMI for one or more semesters, performing important hands-on work to support fundamental advanced manufacturing research, product development, technology transfer, and operation/maintenance of advanced production and research equipment. The funding provided by the COI will be used to support a portion of the foundational Phase I of the proposed 10-year, three-phase program.
“We’re very grateful for the input and funding provided by the COI for the pilot program which will enable a fall 2013 kickoff and provide immediate benefits to TCSG students and GTMI,” said Morehouse. “The pilot will also build a strong working relationship between GTMI and WGTC, enable continuous improvement on initial program outcomes, and serve as an essential learning experience and model for program expansion into Phases II and III.”
The program is designed to leverage the strengths of the TCSG and GTMI to help address critical skills gaps in the manufacturing workforce in Georgia, including manufacturers’ needs for “jack of all trades” maintenance technicians, highly skilled CNC machine tool operators, and other important skill sets, thereby creating a strong positive impact on Georgia manufacturers, the missions of the TCSG and GTMI, as well as their respective students. GTMI and West Georgia Technical College will provide additional support to the pilot program by dedicating faculty and administrative time.
“We’re very excited about the opportunity to have West Georgia Technical College (WGTC) students working on fundamental research and technology transfer projects at GTMI,” added Morehouse. “Not only will the critical hands-on skill sets they possess serve as tremendous assets to the performance of our projects, the partnership program will offer a supplement to the outstanding education that students currently receive at WGTC, enhance matriculation opportunities into Georgia Tech engineering and other science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related four-year degree programs. It will also offer an excellent learning opportunity for our engineering students.”
Earlier this year, GTMI and the Technical College System of Georgia formed the TCSG-GTMI Manufacturing Competitiveness Committee to improve manufacturing workforce education and skills in the state. As previously reported, the committee has identified numerous opportunities for collaboration.