WCCC Dedicates Advanced Technology Center
Westmoreland County Community College dedicated its Advanced Technology Center (ATC) which offers education and training in industrial technology fields Friday, Sept. 5 at RIDC-Westmoreland in Mount Pleasant.
WCCC President Tuesday Stanley presided over the ceremony that was attended by approximately 250 business and community leaders, elected officials and educators.
Coinciding with the dedication ceremony, Dr. Stanley announced that the Advanced Technology Center was named to the Manufacturing Institute’s M-List. The M-List recognizes high schools, community colleges, and universities that are teaching manufacturing students to industry standards.
Chairman, President and CEO of Kennametal Inc. Carlos M. Cardoso delivered the keynote address, calling the Advanced Technology Center a model that will serve to shatter the myth held by many Americans that manufacturing is dirty.
“Today’s manufacturing is industrial technology which is a high-tech pursuit that demands shop floor skills in material science, digital computing, engineering and math,” said Cardoso. “These jobs require education beyond high school,” he added.
“The opening of this center today reflects a new age of industrial technology, one that provides a pathway to affordable, lifelong education and rewarding careers,” said Cardoso.
Cardoso announced that as a corporate sponsor of the ATC, Kennametal and WCCC have begun to work to establish a consortium of industrial companies to connect graduates to job opportunities in the local region.
Distinguished guests offering remarks included Congressman Tim Murphy, U.S. House of Representatives; Senator Kim Ward, 58th Legislative District; Representative Ted Harhai, 58th Legislative District; Westmoreland County Commissioners Charles Anderson and Ted Kopas; and Kristin Malie representing Westmoreland County Commissioner Tyler Courtney; Max Inks, electrical designer at EX One and WCCC electronics/robotics graduate; Philip V. McCalister, president, WCCC Educational Foundation Board; and Tim White, vice president of Development/Marketing, Regional Development Corporation.
The Advanced Technology Center (ATC) occupies 73,500-square-feet at RIDC-Westmoreland and houses workforce development programs previously located at the WCCC Youngwood Campus. The ATC offers programs with an industry-driven curriculum in areas such as mechatronics, advanced and additive manufacturing, energy, machining and fabrication.
Funding for the $13.8 million ATC was secured through public and private sources, including the Westmoreland County Commissioners, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, U.S. Department of Labor, the college’s capital budget and the WCCC Educational Foundation campaign, Investing in Our Community. The largest private donations were $2 million from the Richard King Mellon Foundation and $300,000 from the Hillman Foundation.
The Advanced Technology Center opened August 21 with 359 students enrolled for WCCC fall credit classes.