Longmont, Colo. – The National Science Foundation has awarded Front Range Community College a grant for close to half a million dollars for the creation of a new manufacturing program.

This Advanced Technological Education grant comes as the nationwide manufacturing industry is struggling to address a shortage of skilled technicians. In northern Colorado, advanced manufacturing companies have specifically noted a critical need for industrial automation and maintenance workers.

To help fill this need, Front Range Community College is creating a new associate degree program that will give students the hands-on training they need to become industrial automation and maintenance technicians. The $494,777 NSF grant will fund the design and implementation of this new Associate of Applied Science degree in Automation and Engineering Technology (AET) with three certificates in industrial automation and maintenance. FRCC faculty member Ken Floyd is principal investigator on the program.

The AET program will be located at FRCC’s new Center for Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) in Longmont. FRCC has committed $6.2 million to create the CIM, which will expand training options for Colorado’s manufacturing industry. Find out more about this new educational facility at: www.frontrange.edu/CIM.

Floyd and the FRCC team have been working in partnership with local manufacturing companies in northern Colorado to develop courses for the new program. These courses will include active learning and skill-building instruction on new high-tech training equipment to provide industry-relevant learning experiences for students.

This innovative degree program will provide students with options of certificates that can be stacked toward the associate degree as part of an approach for career advancement. The program will also provide the opportunity for students to obtain industry-recognized certifications. The certifications will help demonstrate students’ readiness for employment. As a result, the project has the potential to increase the number of skilled industrial automation and maintenance technicians available to meet local workforce needs.

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About Front Range Community College

FRCC offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs from locations in Boulder County, Larimer County, Westminster, Brighton, and online. FRCC is a member of the Colorado Community College System.

About the Colorado Community College System

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education, serving 138,000 students annually at 13 colleges and 39 locations across Colorado. Our open access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to quality higher education opportunities.

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