Mount Wachusett Community College President Daniel M. Asquino and Vice President of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development Jacqueline Belrose joined colleagues from three other community colleges to share highlights of their advanced manufacturing partnership during the American Association of Community Colleges’ annual conference in April in Texas.
In September, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded $15.9 million TAACCCT grant to expand career opportunities in advanced manufacturing at MWCC and partnering Southwest Tennessee Community College, North Central State College in Ohio, and Bossier Parish Community College in Louisiana. The colleges created the Advanced Manufacturing, Mechatronics, and Quality Consortium (AMMQC) to help job seekers quickly obtain training and credentials in the advanced manufacturing fields of Mechatronics and Quality career pathways.
“This grant is the story of how four colleges drew on the strengths of each region and are able to effectively work on a project in which our consortium is stronger than the sum of our parts,” President Asquino said during conference presentation. “We designed this using a Center of Excellence approach, in which our emphasis was on obtaining funding that would promote our areas of strength, and not simply address perceived shortfalls and weaknesses. We committed to establishing regional advisory boards drawn from our local manufacturers. And we agreed to work with the Manufacturing Institute so we could ensure that our curriculum aligns with various industry recognized credentials.”
As a group, the programs share a common interest in appropriate and deliberate use of assessment tools, non-credit to credit transition, acceleration of degree completion, and the nexus between education and industry credentials.
Prior to the presentation, the AMMQC national advisory board met. In addition to President Asquino, members include Jacqueline Belrose, MWCC Vice President of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development and National Director of the AMMQC grant; Dennis Bunnell, Industry Consultant and Committee Chair; Barbara P. Roseborough, Interim Provost and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Southwest Tennessee Community College; Dr. Rick Bateman, Jr., Chancellor, Bossier Parish Community College; Dorey Diab, President, North Central State College; and Brent Weil, Senior Vice President and Treasurer, The Manufacturing Institute.