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Published 1/31/2005

Owens Receives Federal Grant To Develop Advanced Integrated Manufacturing Systems Program

Owens Community College has been chosen as the only academic institution in the country to receive a $306,000 federal grant for developing an Advanced Integrated Manufacturing Systems Technologies Associate Degree Program in Ohio. The new two-year degree is exclusively being created by Owens as part of a pilot program for President George W. Bush's High Growth Job Training Initiative as implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration.

"Owens Community College's selection as a lead institution demonstrates the College's responsiveness to meeting the nation's manufacturing training needs through higher education," said Dr. Paul Unger, Provost of Owens Community College. "We are indebted to the U.S. Department of Labor for their continued support and recognition of our faculty's excellent work in the development and implementation of a program that will further enhance economic growth throughout the region."

The new Advanced Integrated Manufacturing Systems Technologies Associate Degree Program will require approximately 70 credit hours of coursework and provide students with hands-on technical education, which incorporates mechanical, electrical, electronic and fluid power concepts used by several local and international companies. Additionally, individuals will have the opportunity to specialize in particular areas of the program.

According to Jim Gilmore, Owens Chair of Manufacturing and Industrial Operations, in today's rapidly changing business and industrial environment the need to employ individuals to maintain state-of-the-art technological and manufacturing equipment is greater than ever.

"Due to an aging workforce, a tremendous shortage of people with the knowledge to maintain, calibrate and repair high-tech electrical, mechanical and electronic equipment within the manufacturing industry has occurred," Gilmore said. "Pioneering the creation of an Advanced Integrated Manufacturing Systems Technologies Associate Degree has the potential to significantly impact our nation's economic future and serve as a foundation for any other educational institution interested in following Owens' lead in implementing such an academic program. It is anticipated that the program developed by the College will be disseminated throughout the nation in 2006."

In 2002, Owens received more than $1.17 million in state-of-the-art electrical, mechanical and electronic equipment and recruitment resources for the implementation of an Integrated Systems Technology (IST) Certificate. With the innovative equipment, Owens became one of only eight academic institutions nationwide to receive federal funding to stimulate industrial growth, using the latest technological advancements in manufacturing and process control.

President Bush this past year visited Owens to praise the program's results and urge fellow academic institutions to follow the College's lead in preparing a diverse population for the constantly changing economic landscape. "I want you to pay attention to what Owens has done," President Bush said during the visit.

With this funding, Owens intends to offer the Advanced Integrated Manufacturing Systems Technologies Associate Degree Program to students beginning Fall Semester 2005. The two-year program is currently pending approval by the Ohio Board of Regents.

Owens Community College is one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 44,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for Northwest Ohio college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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