As aerospace booms, Everett Community College is undertaking a $2.5 million expansion of its advanced manufacturing training program, which prepares people for jobs at Boeing and other manufacturers.
With the aerospace sector booming, Everett Community College announced Friday a $2.5 million facility expansion to its year-old Advanced Manufacturing Training & Education Center.
The expansion will add 17,000 square feet for the college’s precision machining, welding and fabrication, engineering technician, composites and manufacturing pre-employment programs.
Paid for from college funds, the expansion includes classrooms and a lab for a new program aimed at training technicians in maintenance of robotics and other industrial machinery.
John Bonner, the college’s vice president of corporate and workforce training, said Boeing’s plan to bring in extensive automation on the 777 assembly line is one impetus for that new “mechatronics” course, but it will also equip students with essential skills to work at Boeing’s suppliers or any manufacturing company.
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The college’s board decided to fund the expansion now to respond to the needs of industry and the near-term employment opportunities, he said. Construction will start in April and the expanded facility is scheduled to be ready next fall.
Bonner said the college will seek grants and corporate donations to support instruction and curriculum development for the new courses.
In the year since the advanced manufacturing program was established, 1,056 students have completed courses, according to college data.
These include three-month pre-employment courses that take students with no manufacturing experience and train them for entry-level jobs.
The program also offers six-month courses that give students a certificate in precision machining. Bonner said over 90 percent of those certificate students find a job within 30 days of graduating.
In addition to the advanced manufacturing program, which is geared to people seeking jobs, the college has a separate corporate training arm that provides customized training for existing employees at manufacturing companies who want to increase their skills.
More than 1,000 people pass through that program each year, Bonner said.
The college also runs an aviation mechanic school at Paine Field that trains 100 students per year.