Blackhawk Technical College is taking the next step into the future of advanced manufacturing with a new two-year program aimed at training students as information technology specialists in a manufacturing setting.
The program, which begins in September for the 2014-2015 school year, will provide hands-on training with the computer hardware and software that is increasingly needed to keep manufacturing systems operating at peak efficiency.
“The curriculum is being created to train students in the application of computer applications and networking of the intelligent systems now finding their way to the factory floor,’’ said Dr. Tom Eckert, president of Blackhawk Technical College. “Increasingly, machines will be networked, programmed and controlled from remote stations throughout the factory, and a specialist, familiar with the manufacturing environment, will be needed to connect, monitor and repair these computer networks.’’
The new course of study is a perfect fit for BTC’s new Advanced Manufacturing Center, which is scheduled to open next fall in Milton. The Manufacturing Information Technology Specialist program will begin next fall at BTC’s Central Campus and then move to the Advanced Manufacturing Center for the fall semester of the 2015-16 school year.
“The face of manufacturing at the national, regional and local level has changed from what existed only a few years ago,’’ Dr. Eckert noted in a paper on the Advanced Manufacturing Center.
“Manufacturers, in order to stay competitive, have modernized with process improvement techniques, quality management systems and increased automation (robotics and other “intelligent” systems). Manufacturers report that such modernization is critical in order to stay competitive at the global level—an environment that is increasingly lean, automated and technical.’’
Ed Scoville, an instructor in the Computer Service Technician program, is the lead instructor in the new program.
“We are looking to deliver an IT program for the manufacturing environment,’’ Scoville explained. “It will bridge the gap between industrial maintenance and information technology.’’
A diploma will be earned after completing 63 credits that includes nine credits in the general education curriculum. Scoville said there are openings for as many as 17 students this fall.
For more information, Scoville may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608) 757-7645.
Registration for fall classes will begin in May. Additional information also may be obtained through the BTC Admissions Department at (608) 743-4463 or the Advanced Manufacturing and Transportation Division at (608) 757-7628.