A national model for advanced manufacturing. A place where programs and artificial intelligence systems meet. A facility where students can gain leading-edge Industry 4.0 skills. A place where today’s manufacturers can find workers with the skills to help their businesses grow.
These are but a few of the thoughts offered by government, education and industry leaders about the Gateway Technical College SC Johnson iMET Center at its renovation and expansion ribbon-cutting celebration event Tuesday, Oct. 22.
“This expansion is not only great for the Racine County area, but it is great for Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry,” said Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. “And not just here in Wisconsin, and not just the country, but internationally, as well. Technology is driving the change in the way we live and work. We need to make sure we are ready to change with it, and this facility will help us adapt to that change.”
The center, located at 2320 Renaissance Blvd., Sturtevant, Wis., expanded by 35,800 square feet, and 12,080 square feet of existing space was remodeled as part of the project. The center is home to 12 academic programs taught with some of the most technologically advanced classrooms and equipment in advanced manufacturing and Industry 4.0 today. Many national companies stepped forward to provide resources, equipment and industry knowledge to help make the center a local, and national, site of Industry 4.0 training.
“Gateway’s development represents a shining example of industry, education and legislation coming together to create something that benefits everyone,” said Richard Vincent, chief business officer, Foxconn Industrial Internet. “It benefits industry by creating a well-trained, talented workforce in emerging technologies such as advanced manufacturing, data analytics and high-performance computers. It’s home to inventive education, giving faculty a place to create and develop new curriculum, and establishes a new paradigm of teaching innovation focused on hands-on experience.
“This is a new epicenter of technological innovation. A new group of professionals will graduate from this institution with the skills to build our future.”
The expansion features added labs with cutting-edge training equipment to provide the framework for advanced manufacturing career skills. Some of the high-tech training equipment is portable, allowing college instructors to provide training on-site to area manufacturers and high schools.
Gateway Technical College President and CEO Bryan Albrecht said the expansion of the center is like the old adage that it takes a village to raise a child, illustrated by representatives from eight different states at the event.
“We have a process in place that allows what we build here to be replicated throughout this country – to not only elevate opportunities for workers in Southeastern Wisconsin, but to also change the dynamics of America’s workforce,” said Albrecht.
For photos of the event: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmHSSaZj
For a video of the event: http://bit.ly/imetvideo