RCC awarded Duke Energy grant for mechatronics program

HAMLET — Richmond Community College has been awarded a $234,000 grant from Duke Energy that will be used to purchase Process Control Learning Systems for use in the College’s Electronics Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering and Industrial Systems Technologies programs.

RCC_50th_logo_horizontalThe systems consist of industrial quality components with the capability to teach a variety of process control applications. They will help provide students with the knowledge and skill to install, repair, maintain and calibrate industrial measuring and controlling instrumentation.

“As a response to the workforce needs of employers in Richmond and Scotland counties, RCC recently expanded and renovated the building that houses the engineering technologies programs, enhanced existing programs and added a new program in Mechatronics Engineering Technology,” said RCC President Dr. Dale McInnis. “As industry becomes more automated, there is a growing need for automation/instrumentation and controls technicians to ensure that all machines are operating and operating safely. Nearly all functions of modern manufacturing plants, from the orders that come in to the products that go out, rely on automated processes. Equipment purchased through this grant will ensure that RCC can fully and effectively meet local demand for automation technicians.”

The equipment is expected to be installed over the summer, resulting in a new Electrical Instrumentation class being offered in the fall for degree programs and courses/training for incumbent workers.

RCC’s Mechatronics Engineering Technology program was first offered during fall semester 2014. The curriculum includes courses in safety, math, physics, electricity, engineering technology, and technology-specific specialty areas.

Mechatronics Engineering Technology graduates will be qualified for employment in industrial maintenance and manufacturing including assembly, testing, startup, troubleshooting, repair, process improvement and control systems.

The $234,000 in funding was administered through the Duke Energy Community College Grant Program, which is managed by North Carolina Community Foundation.

“Trained workers from our region’s community colleges help meet the needs of local industry across North Carolina,” said David McNeill, Duke Energy district manager. “Richmond Community College plays a key role in educating our next generation workforce, and we are proud to partner in its efforts.”

About the Duke Energy Community College Grant Program

Duke Energy has recognized that even though the Carolinas have top-rated community and technical college systems, budgetary constraints present a challenge for them. Duke Energy’s Community College Grant Program provides a financial boost that helps enable college systems to extend their expertise, to provide rewarding opportunities for students, and ultimately, to help revitalize manufacturing in the Carolinas.

About the North Carolina Community Foundation

North Carolina Community Foundation administers the Duke Energy Community College Grant Program in the Duke Energy Progress area of the state. The Foundation is the single statewide community foundation in North Carolina, serving the philanthropic needs of donors and a broad range of charitable purposes in North Carolina. Visit www.nccommunityfoundation.org.

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