The new $1.2 million, 3,000-square-foot laboratory will feature the latest in high-tech machining equipment, including mills, lathes, saws, grinders and presses, in addition to a classroom configured with workbenches and computers. This is the first major construction project on the West Windsor Campus since the West Windsor Welcome Center was built in 2009, with completion anticipated this spring. Funding for the project was made possible through the Building Our Future Bond Act, which was approved by New Jersey voters in 2012.
One of numerous potential innovative partnerships envisioned for the Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory is an Associate in Applied Science degree in Advanced Manufacturing, with transfer capability to earning a bachelor’s degree at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.
According to the United States Department of Labor (DOL), a survey of U.S. manufacturing employers found that 80 percent of respondents said they had a serious problem finding qualified candidates for the highly technical world of modern manufacturing. Manufacturing salaries and benefits average about $65,000 a year, according to the DOL.
“Technology is rapidly changing, and it is imperative that we respond proactively to market trends to keep the Mercer County economy strong,” said Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes. “Through the establishment of this Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory, students will receive a quality education in a high-demand field that will serve as an asset to our business community.”
“Our new strategic plan emphasizes innovative partnerships and investment in organizational effectiveness, guiding us to the ultimate goal of student success,” Matzen said. “Through this innovative project, combining the efforts of many partners throughout the region, we are truly putting the community in community college and making strides toward our common goals.”
Once constructed, the MCCC Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory will be the only one of its kind in Mercer County, with the next closest facility being in Camden. Mark Matzen, chair of the MCCC Board of Trustees, noted that it is important to provide these new opportunities for students in the region, and tapping into all available resources to help them attain their educational and career objectives.
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