The National Science Foundation awarded Linn-Benton Community College’s Mechatronics program with an Advanced Technological Education grant worth $790,000 over a three-year period.
NSF awarded the grant to LBCC for its proposed project titled “The Technician of the Future: Mechatronics as a Statewide Transferable Skill Set Supporting Green Industry.”
LBCC’s Technician of the Future project will focus on rapidly responding to industry needs for broadly trained technicians for emerging technologies, and will provide career pathways for secondary schools and two-year colleges.
The NSF ATE grant will help LBCC expand its capacity to deliver an integrated curriculum that incorporates the principles of sustainable energy production with support in curriculum development and professional development of college faculty and secondary school teachers, and support of career pathways to two-year colleges from secondary schools and from two-year colleges to four-year institutions and into the workforce.
Eight other community colleges in Oregon have expressed interest in developing a one year Green Technician Statewide Certificate, based on the first year of the LBCC Mechatronics Program.
When implemented, the certificate program will prepare students for entry-level employment in industries associated with or in support of green jobs, such as solar, wind, wave and bio energy.
Students completing the program will have a broadly transferable skill set applicable to occupations supporting renewable energy production, equipment fabrication, installation, optimization, troubleshooting and repair.