and Piedmont Community College are proud to announce a $248,314.99 investment from the Duke Energy Foundation.
The funds will be used to support the creation of a Mechatronics Engineering Technology program at the college. This program will prepare students to use basic engineering principles and technical skills in developing and testing automated, servomechanical and other electromechanical systems. It will also address the training needs of six local industry partners.
“Piedmont Community College is honored to receive the Duke Energy grant that will provide funding for our new Mechatronics Engineering Technology program,” commented Dr. Joyce Johnson, vice president, instruction and student development. “This grant also allows Piedmont Community College to fund a program that is relevant to today’s economy and, more importantly, trains students in an occupation that offers the greatest potential for a diverse economy and an improved quality of life for everyone. We look forward to observing and measuring the impact of this grant on our campus and community.”
The funds will purchase an automated mechatronics system containing three autonomous stations that form a complete manufacturing cell, Siemens PLC/robotics equipment, and automated storage/retrieval system. This modular system emulates a real industrial assembly process, incorporating technologies required by today’s automated industries.
In addition, the Duke Energy Foundation grant will provide resources to implement the Siemens Certified Mechatronics Systems Assistant (SCMSA) certification and expand current advanced manufacturing training pathways. These pathways include both short-term training that leads to industry-recognized certification or options to obtain associates degrees. If a student elects to continue training, the Mechatronics Engineering Technology Associate of Applied Science degree would be a viable option.
Graduates of this program can pursue career opportunities that include: instrumentation technician, robotics technician, automation engineer technician, electro-mechanical technician, industrial engineering technician, process technician, petroleum technician, industrial maintenance technician, field automation technician, and pipeline/distribution operator.
Individuals completing the SCMSA qualify for entry-level positions as machine operators, industrial maintenance technicians, wind farm facility operators, power plant operators, and building maintenance technicians.
North Carolina ranks fourth among states with the highest job vacancy and job growth rate for mechatronic engineers and mechatronic engineer technologists.
“Piedmont Community College is excited about this opportunity to expand workforce training options that directly meet the needs of employers. The Siemens Level I certification program will help get people back to work and strengthen the quality of the workforce,” shared Dr. Doris Carver, vice president, continuing education.
“Piedmont Community College is committed to equipping its students with the skills needed to compete in emerging sectors of today’s economy,” said Duke Energy District Manager Tanya Evans. “We’re pleased to continue our partnership with the college to strengthen the region’s education-to-workforce pipeline.”
This grant is part of Duke Energy’s $30 million investment in North Carolina Community Colleges’ focus on technical education and support of business and industry. Individual community colleges can apply for funds through the NC Community Foundation. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of representatives from Duke Energy, NC Community College System, and NC Department of Commerce.
About Piedmont Community College
Piedmont Community College is a multi-campus college, servicing two North Carolina counties: Person County, where its main campus is located in Roxboro, NC; and Caswell County, with a campus in Yanceyville. Its mission is to enrich lives “by providing education, training, and cultural opportunities for lifelong learning and professional success in local, regional, and global communities.” Piedmont CC serves over 6,500 people annually through its curriculum programs leading to degrees, diplomas, and certificates and its Continuing Education programs, including Adult Basic Skills. The College also partners with local business and industry to support economic development initiatives. Visit www.piedmontcc.edu to learn more.
About Duke Energy Foundation
Duke Energy Foundation makes charitable investments on behalf of Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the United States with 7.2 million customers in six states. Over the foundation’s long history in local communities, it has identified focus areas that maximize the foundation’s dollars and guide the foundation’s giving. In North Carolina, Duke Energy Foundation invests $16 million annually for community support and charitable contributions. To learn more about Duke Energy Foundation, visit www.duke-energy.com/community.
Check Presentation Photo: Tanya Evans, Duke Energy District Manager, Dr. Walter Bartlett, President, PCC; Dr. Doris Carver, Vice President, Continuing Education; Dr. Joyce Johnson, Vice President, Instruction and Student Development
Second Photo: Learning about equipment used in the new Mechatronics Engineering Technology program.