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Student interaction among highlights of legislative visit

Stopping for a photo op at the Gold Rush Excavator are (from left) Everett, Gilmour, Cutler, Smeltz and Yaw.
Stopping for a photo op at the Gold Rush Excavator are (from left) Everett, Gilmour, Cutler, Smeltz and Yaw.
During his travels, Cutler enjoyed interactions with students who reside in or near his legislative district, including baking and pastry arts students Rebecca High (left), of Willow Street, and Alana L. LaPenta, of Lemoyne.
During his travels, Cutler enjoyed interactions with students who reside in or near his legislative district, including baking and pastry arts students Rebecca High (left), of Willow Street, and Alana L. LaPenta, of Lemoyne.
In the manufacturing lab, Cutler learns about the mechanics of BAJA team racing from students including John D. Kleinfelter (center in red shirt), a manufacturing engineering student from Lebanon.
In the manufacturing lab, Cutler learns about the mechanics of BAJA team racing from students including John D. Kleinfelter (center in red shirt), a manufacturing engineering student from Lebanon.
The tour winds its way through the new welding expansion. Cutler’s late father was a welder, so he held a keen interest in the facility and the skill.
The tour winds its way through the new welding expansion. Cutler’s late father was a welder, so he held a keen interest in the facility and the skill.
Back to his roots, Cutler visits the radiography lab to hear about advances in technologies from Christine L. Eckenrod, the college’s new director of radiography.
Back to his roots, Cutler visits the radiography lab to hear about advances in technologies from Christine L. Eckenrod, the college’s new director of radiography.

State Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster), the second-highest ranking member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, visited Penn College on Thursday. Cutler, serving his first term as majority leader, was accompanied on the tour – which took in a number of instructional areas of main campus – by Jacob G. Smeltz, his chief of staff, as well as two members of the college’s board of directors: Sen. Gene Yaw, chair, and Rep. Garth Everett. President Davie Jane Gilmour and other members of the college administration (including Michael J. Reed, vice president for academic affairs and provost, and Patrick Marty, chief of staff) welcomed the guests, and various deans and faculty members led Cutler through The Victorian House, welding and metal fabrication, advanced manufacturing, automotive restoration, culinary arts and hospitality, plastics and polymer engineering, and several majors in the School of Nursing & Health Sciences. Cutler started his career in radiography, earning a certificate from Lancaster General School of Radiology. He worked as an X-ray technologist before earning a health care management degree from Lebanon Valley College and working as an administrator in his local hospital’s radiology department. He later earned a law degree, focused on health care law, from Widener Law School and has served in the Legislature since 2007. The day’s itinerary also included lunch at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant and a chance to see the Gold Rush Excavator on a nearby parking lot.

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College among regional assets touted for industrial visitors

Biddle leads visitors through the Thermoforming Center of Excellence.
Biddle leads visitors through the Thermoforming Center of Excellence.

Site selectors for business and industry, who arrived in Williamsport late last week for a four-day assessment of the region’s educational, health care and recreational attributes, visited Penn College on Monday. Led by a contingent of campus leaders, the guests toured plastics, automated manufacturing, welding, collision repair and automotive restoration labs, and enjoyed lunch at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant. Eyewitness News’ Morgan Parrish was among those accompanying the group, and – in a piece that led the evening’s 5:30 newscasts on WBRE/WYOU – interviewed Michael Quint, managing director at Newmark Knight Frank; Jared Grissinger, project manager for the Governor’s Action Team; and Jason Fink, president/CEO of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, for their perspective. Also included in the broadcast was footage of Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations; David R. Cotner, dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies; Shannon M. Munro, vice president for workforce development; and Spencer L. Cotner, of Muncy, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major and research assistant at the college’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center. The visit, which began at the Little League Baseball World Series over the weekend, concludes with Tuesday stops at UPMC Susquehanna and Lycoming College.

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Penn College manufacturing students to study in Germany    

Thanks to a National Science Foundation grant, 10 Pennsylvania College of Technology manufacturing students and two faculty will be able to study for 16 days in Germany, a world leader in computer numerical control technology.

The National Science Foundation reaffirmed its confidence in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s efforts to combat the manufacturing skills gap by providing a supplemental grant to facilitate study abroad in Germany.

The grant will cover the cost of sending 10 Penn College manufacturing students and two faculty to Germany next summer to receive training at the Eckert International Vocational School and various companies on the cutting edge of computer numerical control and automation technology.

The 16-day trip will include hands-on experiences with tools used in the product development process; software operating milling, turning and multitasking machines; and robotic systems employed in the manufacturing industry.

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Penn College students dominate manufacturing scholarship list

Pennsylvania College of Technology

A foundation promoting manufacturing careers awarded one-third of its recent scholarships to Pennsylvania College of Technology students.

A dozen Penn College students were among 36 nationwide who received manufacturing scholarships from Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs. The scholarships, valued between $1,500 and $2,500, are for Fall 2019.

“I couldn’t be prouder,” said David R. Cotner, dean of Penn College’s School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, which is home to the recipients’ majors. “To have the college dominate a national scholarship list speaks volumes about the quality of our students and our various academic programs.”

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Penn College students earn industry certifications

Pennsylvania College of Technology engineering design students, as well as students from several other majors, distinguished themselves by passing prominent industry certification exams related to computer-aided design during the 2018-19 academic year.

Most of the students became certified SolidWorks associates, while two students added certifications for AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor, respectively.

“Encouraging students to obtain CAD certifications is a standard practice within our department,” said Katherine A. Walker, assistant professor of engineering design technology. “Their performance on the exams validates their skill sets, reflects their hard work in class and reveals their dedication to their future profession. The certifications help them stand out in the job market upon graduation.”

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Mechatronics grad sets his sights on prevention

... and interviews Troup during her May visit.
… and interviews Troup during her May visit.
Reiner talks with Witmer ...
Reiner talks with Witmer …

Anne Reiner of the On the Pulse local news site visited campus recently to interview Ryan M. Witmer, a mechatronics technology student from Lancaster County. Reiner watched Witmer employ various diagnostic tools to monitor the performance of Penn College’s roll-fed thermoformer and discussed with him the unique major, which combines electrical, mechanical and computer engineering into one field. Reiner also explored mechatronics with one of Witmer’s teachers: Howard W. Troup, instructor of automated manufacturing and machining. “Everything that I learned in high school was, ‘I needed to fix it,'” says Witmer, who graduated with high honors on May 17. “Here, I can build it … I can fix it … I can, you know, prevent it from being broken in the first place.” The new alumnus is employed as an assembly technician for Astro Machine Works in Ephrata.

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Career Day sets middle schoolers’ sights on tomorrow

Led by Franklin H. Reber, instructor of building construction technology, and students, Career Day visitors create concrete stepping stones.

College employees rallied to provide nearly 40 educational sessions for middle schoolers from across the region who visited campus on Monday for the college’s twice-a-year Career Day. Facilitated by the college’s College Transitions Office, the event provided 1,267 students with opportunities to explore a wide variety of careers in each of the college’s six academic schools. Visitors included 13 schools and home-schooled students.

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Penn College student manufactures bass guitar

Finding harmony between music and manufacturing

A manufacturing engineering technology student at Pennsylvania College of Technology hit the right note with his senior project – literally.

Jaron A. Williams, of Lopez, spent countless hours during the academic year combining his twin passions of manufacturing and music to create a functional bass guitar.

“When he submitted this as a proposal, I said ‘yes,’ but I told him he would have to play it during his presentation,” noted John M. Good, instructor of automated manufacturing and machining. “He did. It sounded great! As he played, he demonstrated various technical aspects and sound-quality controls of his guitar. The audience was amazed.”

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Penn College receives NSF grant to combat skills gap

Pennsylvania College of Technology is addressing the manufacturing skills gap with the help of a $591,924 grant awarded through the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program. The grant will fund several initiatives over the next three years aimed at students, teachers and school counselors.

Unfilled manufacturing jobs through 2028 may total 2.4 million, threatening the health of the industry and the U.S. economy. With help from the National Science Foundation, Pennsylvania College of Technology is addressing that dire skills gap estimated by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute.

The NSF recently awarded the college a $591,924 grant through its Advanced Technological Education program to increase the number of qualified workers in advanced manufacturing. The money will fund several initiatives during the next three years aimed at students, teachers and school counselors.

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Student-designed transmission passes test for Baja SAE team

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s entry in Baja SAE Tennessee Tech finished eighth out of 96 cars in the endurance-race portion of the Society of Automotive Engineers’ recent event in Cookeville, Tenn.

Months of painstaking work resulted in an impressive showing on the international stage for Pennsylvania College of Technology at the recent Society of Automotive Engineers’ event in Cookeville, Tennessee.

Featuring a new, student-designed continuously variable transmission, the college’s single-seat, off-road vehicle finished eighth out of 96 cars in the endurance race at Baja SAE Tennessee Tech. It’s the college’s eighth top 10 finish in the race – considered Baja SAE’s marquee event – since 2011.

“I couldn’t be happier with the way our car performed with the new CVT,” said John G. Upcraft, instructor of manufacturing and machining and adviser to the college’s Baja SAE club. “We were one of the fastest 10 cars. Nobody pulled away from us. We most likely would have finished higher if the race wasn’t shortened. We usually do our best in the last hour of the event.”

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AACA’s Hershey Chapter revisits college’s hands-on world

As is generally the case, students are the best college ambassadors when company comes to call.

Members of the Hershey Region of the Antique Automobile Association of America, among the generous champions of Penn College’s automotive restoration technology major, recently returned to main campus as the first stop on this season’s “Point Run” schedule. The group enjoyed a buffet lunch, toured several instructional areas, and met with student members of the Penn College Motorsports Association and the Classic Cruisers Club.

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Locally grown, globally known

Precision-designed parts, meeting the rigorous standards of industry, bear the company’s mark of quality.
Precision-designed parts, meeting the rigorous standards of industry, bear the company’s mark of quality.
E-Tech’s team approach to business begins with the couple that built it: John, '74, and Nanette Estep.
E-Tech’s team approach to business begins with the couple that built it: John, ’74, and Nanette Estep.
Anthony R. Bastion, a 2018 manufacturing engineering alumnus and former intern, is among the Penn College-educated talent to find a home in his Bradford County backyard.
Anthony R. Bastion, a 2018 manufacturing engineering alumnus and former intern, is among the Penn College-educated talent to find a work home in his Bradford County backyard.
Penn College alumni John M. “Max” Brenchley (left), who graduated in December with a degree in engineering design technology, and Aaron C. Smith, who holds degrees in engineering CAD technology (’15) and engineering design technology (’17), discuss their work on a European aerospace project. Brenchley began as an intern while still in college; Smith’s E-Tech connection dates to his Troy High School days, when an 11th-grade CAD class completed projects on-site through one of the area’s first 3D printers.
Penn College alumni John M. “Max” Brenchley (left), who graduated in December with a degree in engineering design technology, and Aaron C. Smith, who holds degrees in engineering CAD technology (’15) and engineering design technology (’17), discuss their work on a European aerospace project. Brenchley began as an intern while still in college; Smith’s E-Tech connection dates to his Troy High School days, when an 11th-grade CAD class completed projects on-site through one of the area’s first 3D printers.

From the Spring 2019 Penn College Magazine: E-Tech Industries founder John Estep, ’74, credits his team – 70 percent of them graduates of Penn College or its predecessor – for his company’s made-in-the-USA success. Read Locally Grown, Globally Known.

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Collaborative effort revs up Penn College’s Baja SAE team

Members of Penn College’s Baja SAE team take a break during a day of testing their vehicle in preparation for Baja SAE Tennessee Tech, scheduled for April 11-14 in Cookeville, Tenn. From left are Christopher M. Schweikert, of Jamison; Dakota C. Harrison, of Lewisberry; Corey J. Mason, of Lake City; Justin R. Dahlberg, of Manahawkin, N.J.; Daniel M. Gerard, of Doylestown; John D. Kleinfelter, of Lebanon; Trevor M. Clouser, of Millmont; Shujaa AlQahtani, of Saudi Arabia; Mark A. Turek, of Red Lion; Dylan A. Bianco, of State College; Dominic J. Lepri, of Monroe Township, N.J.; David Carlson, of Elizabethtown; Morgan R. Bagenstose, of Reading; and Matthew J. Nyman, of Lock Haven.

A collaborative multidisciplinary effort is fueling Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Baja SAE team’s preparation for two major international competitions sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

The Penn College team will compete at Baja SAE Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Tennessee, April 11-14 and at Baja SAE Rochester in Rochester, New York, June 6-9.

“The past success of the team has sparked a lot of interest from students in a variety of majors,” said John G. Upcraft, instructor of manufacturing and machining and adviser to the college’s Baja SAE club since its 2005 inception. “Traditionally, our team primarily consisted of manufacturing and machining students. Now we have other students offering their services, including some as part of their coursework. It’s great that more people are assisting and have a stake in the team’s achievements.”

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Penn College profiled on ‘PMA Perspective’ on PCN

Penn College students featured on "PMA Perspective" are Alexa M. Korinchak, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major from Hellertown, working on the heavy-gauge thermoformer ...
Penn College students featured on “PMA Perspective” are Alexa M. Korinchak, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major from Hellertown, working on the heavy-gauge thermoformer …
... and Shujaa AlQahtani, of Saudi Arabia, a manufacturing engineering technology demonstrating the Genos M560 vertical machining center.
… and Shujaa AlQahtani, of Saudi Arabia, a manufacturing engineering technology demonstrating the Genos M560 vertical machining center.

The second of two episodes of “PMA Perspective” featuring Penn College aired Sunday morning on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.

David N. Taylor, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, and the “PMA Perspective” crew toured and filmed in the plastics and polymer engineering technology labs, led by Kirk M. Cantor, professor of plastics technology; in automated manufacturing/machining, guided by Richard K. Hendricks, instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing; and in rapid prototyping (3D printing), led by Eric K. Albert, associate professor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing.

Last week’s first episode featured an interview with Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour and a tour of the mechatronics lab. For that segment, Taylor interviewed Howard W. Troup, instructor of automated manufacturing/machine tool technology, and Christopher P. Ray, executive director, business development.

Both installments can be viewed on the “PMA Perspective” website.

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Companies’ generosity supports Penn College students

Commemorating an arrangement allowing Penn College students access to a high-end CNC machine are, from left, Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations at Penn College; Suzette Snyder, director of human resources and talent acquisition for Lycoming Engines; Randy Ditch, president, Gosiger East Coast Region; Bill Wilson, key accounts manager, Gosiger Mid-Atlantic; Tyler McCoy, manufacturing engineering supervisor at Lycoming Engines and a Penn College alumnus; Richard K. Hendricks Jr., instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing; and Gregg Shimp, vice president, integrated operations, Lycoming Engines.

An industry staple, computer numerical control machines are a common sight in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s automated manufacturing lab. Students operate the 17 CNC units daily to master the intricacies of using computer software to control the machines’ tools in shaping metal.

A recent addition to the CNC collection has changed the lab’s landscape. At 8 feet wide and 10 feet tall, the 18,000-pound unit towers above other instructional equipment in the 12,000-square-foot facility. The Genos M560 vertical machine center – built by the Okuma Corp. – makes quite the impression. More importantly, it offers students another valuable learning experience.

“It’s certainly a higher-end CNC unit,” said Richard K. Hendricks Jr., instructor and department head of automated manufacturing and machining. “It goes beyond the machines we typically have access to. If we were comparing it to a car, this would be like a Mercedes or BMW.”

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