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WDCE’s Mechatronics Training Program Reaches Milestone

Mechatronics Apprenticeship Training offered by Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Pennsylvania College of Technology celebrated the conclusion of its first year of programming in May.

Designed to meet Pennsylvania Department of Labor requirements for competency-based classroom instruction, the training incorporates several features that make the program truly cutting-edge.

WDCE mechatronics training program reaches milestone
WDCE mechatronics training program reaches milestone

The training begins with an initial assessment measuring proficiency in the same competencies included in the industry-recognized, final-certification exams developed by The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (better known in the trade as PMMI). Measuring skills at the outset allows for appropriate curricular modifications to focus on areas of need while minimizing disruption to work flow by allowing employees to bypass training in topics in which they display sufficient mastery.

Another unique feature of Penn College’s training is the use of its new iris training platform. This remote, interactive system allows flexibility for shift workers while decreasing travel-related costs. Confirmation of the effectiveness of iris training proves that Mechatronics Apprenticeship Training can be effectively delivered independent of company size or location.

“We’re constantly striving to develop innovative ways to meet the skills-development needs of companies,” noted Shannon M. Munro, executive director of workforce development and continuing education at Penn College. “Manufacturers need to control cost, minimize work disruption, decrease missed time away from the floor, and yet achieve high levels of learning and skills improvement. This program achieves all of those goals.”

Building upon the program, another group of employees began training in a highly customized mechatronics course. The curriculum was tailored to the specific needs of a large Pennsylvania-based manufacturer and exceeds the standards set by the commonwealth.

“They had specific needs and wanted to build a world-class training to address them,” Munro said. “We expanded the depth of training in certain topics, built a series of hands-on assessments and developed a delivery schedule that met their requirements.”

All programs will continue into 2017-18 with the DOL model entering the second of four yearlong topics: industrial electricity.

Due to considerable demand for new programs, Munro added that the college is working to double mechatronics training capacity by December. And with a platform that breaks down geographic and size barriers, it’s likely that growth trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

For more, visit WDCE or call 570-327-4775.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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