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National Science Foundation awards Pennsylvania College of Technology grant to address skills gap

The National Science Foundation recently awarded Pennsylvania College of Technology to address the manufacturing skills gap, which could total 2.4 million through 2028, according to estimates from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute.

The $591,924 grant, awarded through the NSF Advanced Technological Education program, will fund several initiatives aimed at students, teachers, and school counselors during the next three years.

“We are honored that the NSF has placed its faith in the college to help combat the alarming skills gap in manufacturing,” David R. Cotner, dean of Penn College’s School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, said. “It’s estimated that five out of 10 open manufacturing positions aren’t filled today because of the skills gap. We must dispel the ‘dark, dirty and dangerous’ manufacturing myth and reveal the reality of manufacturing. The sector offers outstanding jobs focused on advanced technology in clean environments.”

The grant will help to fund symposiums and other recruitment activities geared to high school students, teachers, and guidance counselors. It will also help to fund enhanced educational opportunities for an increased pool of potential manufacturing students at the college. Curriculum development resulting from the grant will include a one-year certificate in computer numerical control and high-level equipment acquisition in the areas of multi-axis machining, coordinate measuring machines, and additive manufacturing.

Additionally, the college will use grant funding to evaluate the effectiveness of efforts to attract students to careers in advanced technology within manufacturing and prepare them for their careers.

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