KCC to offer job training for local manufacturers

Highly automated manufacturing facilities in Barry, Branch, and Calhoun counties and those companies' growing demand for skilled workers have spurred Kellogg Community College to launch a new Industrial Technology Program this fall.

Students will train on equipment found in a variety of automated industries, including food processing, automotive, metal, plastics and medical fields.

Topics covered will include electro-mechanical devices, lean manufacturing, robotics, Ethernet networking, tolerance analysis, servo drives, hydraulic troubleshooting and pneumatic systems.

The mechatronics program teaches students to install, maintain and repair complex, automated systems used by local companies. Students can receive a 30-credit certificate or a 62-hour associate degree by completing the program.  

Students who go through the program will be able to go into a local plant fully trained on high-tech equipment and ready to get to work.

Grants from Battle Creek Unlimited, DENSO North America Foundation and in-kind contributions from Michigan Rebuild & Automation funded the purchase on new training equipment. The equipment was installed at KCC’s Regional Manufacturing Technology Center, a facility in the Fort Custer Industrial Park where 800 students train each year.

Classes already were in place to teach students electronics, robotics, machining, maintenance, pipefitting, welding and heating and cooling. For the latest program the only thing needed was the new equipment. In support of the new program, the DENSO North America Foundation recently awarded KCC a grant of $149,346 to continue to acquire and upgrade equipment over the next three years.

With this grant, KCC will purchase new PLC controllers, robots, networking devices, measurement tools, servo drives, hydraulic trainers and electro-fluid power trainers.

"DENSO is passionate about preparing students for careers in manufacturing and generating interest in these fields," says Karen Cooper-Boyer, Director, DENSO North America Foundation. "As a local employer, we are fortunate to be able to support and partner with organizations like KCC and RMTC on programs that give students hands-on learning experiences and necessary skills to be successful in today’s advanced manufacturing environment."

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Eric Green, Kellogg Community College