Sturtevant, WI — Industry and education leaders from across the country came together to support the groundbreaking of a 35,000 square foot expansion of the SC Johnson iMET Center at Gateway Technical College. The project, which includes updates to 12,000 square feet of existing space, will add new labs for Industrial Control, Engineering, Mechanical Systems and Material Science, as well as new CNC Manufacturing space and IT Analytics Computer classrooms. It is one of the first flexible manufacturing labs equipped to train workers and students for advanced manufacturing careers.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was joined by key partners to dedicate ground to the expansion project. Partners included Amatrol, Ashley Furniture Industries, FANUC, LAB Midwest, Rockwell Automation, SC Johnson, and Foxconn. The expansion is made possible by a $5 million grant from the State of Wisconsin in addition to collaboration from industry partners.
Foxconn’s investment in Wisconsin is evidenced by the growth of manufacturing careers and education awareness in the region. Soon the tech giant will be looking to fill an initial 13,000 jobs at its Mt. Pleasant facility. As a result, tech colleges like Gateway are investing in training and education for skilled jobs in Industry 4.0 positions. In his speech Monday, Scott Walker commented on Wisconsin’s low unemployment rate and bright future for Wisconsin manufacturing.
“Foxconn’s ripple effect is growing once again with the expansion of Gateway Technical College’s iMET Center. This center is one more example of Wisconsin’s educational institutions creating more opportunities for their students because of Foxconn’s decision to build in Wisconsin. With eight straight months of unemployment at or below 3%, it makes worker training all the more important. And, this will provide hands-on opportunities for students that will help them gain the skills to work for one of Wisconsin’s many growing companies.”
Alan Yeung, Director of US Strategic Initiatives at Foxconn said, “[Foxconn] came, we were impressed and we wanted to be part of Wisconsin. We saw speed, we saw cost-effectiveness, and we saw talent.”
Wisconsin truly is living up to Foxconn’s vision as the hub of advanced manufacturing progress.
Among the advanced technologies taught in the new center will be FANUC Robotics’ Zero Down Time (ZDT) Technology. ZDT is an application that uploads and analyzes key performance data on the cloud for all integrated robots. Predictive analytics can prevent downtime and keep production lines running efficiently.
Additionally, Gateway will be the first college to offer Industry 4.0 certifications from the Smart Automation Certification Alliance (SACA).
In his address at the event, Gateway President and CEO Bryan Albrecht remarked, “The SC Johnson Integrated Manufacturing and Engineering Technology Center will be the model for training technicians throughout the world.”