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Drake State Announces Alabama’s Second Mechatronics Program


J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College (Drake State) announces the Alabama Community College System’s second mechatronics program.  Designed to serve the expanding manufacturing needs of north Alabama, Drake’s program is patterned after the successful program implemented by Shelton State Community College to support the workforce needs of the Mercedes plant in Vance, Alabama.  Students in the program will be eligible for paid apprenticeship jobs for 16 hours per week while attending classes.

With industry partner, Science and Engineering Services, Inc. (SES), Drake State has established the North Alabama Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative (NAMTEC) to capitalize on the education and training capacity of the college, working in concert with its manufacturing industry partners, to produce multi-skilled manufacturing technicians for employment in north Alabama industries. The NAMTEC program features mechatronics, precision machining, robotics, industrial maintenance, plastic and composite materials, additive manufacturing, quality and lean principles, and other key manufacturing processes. 

Technicians having advanced manufacturing technology skill sets are in high demand throughout north Alabama, particularly those industries located within the Huntsville/Madison County area. Drake State’s program is certified by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) ensuring that Drake State’s graduates have industry-recognized credentials. The NAMTEC program has also developed a manufacturing technology academy for high school students and also provides transitional support for veterans seeking entry into the manufacturing industry.  A pipeline of veterans entering the program has already been established with initial classes beginning May 22.   With a need to accelerate entry of new workers into the manufacturing workforce, Drake State is offering its program to high school graduates, unemployed and underemployed workers, veterans, and incumbent workers seeking training in advanced manufacturing technologies.

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