Group Hopes Training Work Force Will Expand Local Robotics Industry
Community college program designed to build highly skilled workforce for demanding industries.
A group of colleges and engineering companies in the Pittsburgh area are coming together to sponsor an associate degree program in robotics for local community colleges.
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The two year Robotics Engineering Technology degree program is designed to train students with high-school-equivalent educations how to build and maintain robots and embedded systems, without requiring a four-year engineering or computer-science degree.
The program was developed by a group called Robotics Corridor – a consortium of private companies, state government agencies and local colleges. The group’s whose goal is to lay the foundations for a robotics industry in southwestern Pennsylvania, by training the workforce and building the technical infrastructure for robotics companies to thrive.
Classes will be offered this fall at three local community colleges, according to Robotics Corridor. A fourth community college will offer the courses starting in 2010.
Graduates will be able to troubleshoot, service and maintain robotic and electronic systems in the automotive, manufacturing, healthcare or other industries that rely on sophisticated electronics, according to an interview in the local Pittsburgh Tribune-Review with Jeff Shumey, an applied engineering and technology professor at California University of Pennsylvania, one of the schools that will offer the program.
Butler County Community College and other schools involved in the program already offer technical programs such as electronics and nanofabrication manufacturing to train students for jobs in IT-dependent manufacturing facilities and other IT-heavy jobs, according to the Tribune-Review.
Credits from the associate-degree program will be transferrable to local four-year schools such as The University of Pittsburgh, Robert Morris University, Youngstown State University and others that helped create the program, which was coordinated through Carnegie Mellon.