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Owensboro CTC Gets $556K for Manufacturing Tech Program

With a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation, Owensboro Community & Technical College in Kentucky will give students opportunities to acquire skills and stackable credentials within the industry.

Economy Manufacturing
(TNS) — Owensboro Community & Technical College received a $556,314 grant from the National Science Foundation that it will put toward developing a program to help train the workforce in the manufacturing industry.

The three-year grant initiative is called Reskilling Manufacturing Technicians Post-COVID with an Industry 4.0 Competency-Based Solutions. Through the competency-based model, students will have an opportunity to learn skills and complete certifications within the industry. The model will be accelerated, but students can work at their own pace.

Students can also earn two national certifications through this course, said Sheri Plain, OCTC grant principal investigator.

Six of the certifications available to students through this program are also stackable credentials, so students can bank them toward a diploma in the OCTC industrial maintenance technology and/or electrical technology associate of applied science degrees.

Plain said the goal of the project is to increase skill levels of at least 60 students, with 20 beginning this fall.

"The grant officially started May 1, and we have already started development work," Plain said. "Our goal is to have our courses ready in the fall, and we will begin recruiting students for that in late summer."

Scott Williams, OCTC president, said the program is geared toward individuals already working in the manufacturing industry — and other adult learners. It will be designed similarly to OCTC's other work-and-learn models that allow students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to a paying job.

The delivery of this program, he added, will also allow individuals who aren't local to participate, through unique and creative learning opportunities. It also will include insights from current employers in manufacturing.

"We will be working directly with industry leaders with this," Williams said. "We are learning from them what the best, advanced competencies they need for current and new employees. We want students to go through this program and gain the skills employers need."

NSF grants aren't always the easiest to receive, so Williams said OCTC leaders and educators are fortunate and proud to bring the opportunities it will provide to Owensboro and the region.

Plain said OCTC is "very excited about this."

"This will be an additional option for people to continue their education," she said.

The project is funded by the Advanced Technological Education program that focuses on the education of technicians for the advanced-technology fields that drive the nation's economy.

For more information on the project, contact Plain at or 270-686-4436.

©2022 the Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, Ky.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.