November 11, 2004
Information: Dena Maloney, Dean, Economic Development, (661) 362-3305
$1 Million in Grants Bolster College Training Efforts
The Economic Development Department at College of the Canyons secured three state grants totaling more than $1 million to support training in digital manufacturing, biotechnology and welding.
The California Community Colleges Chancellors Office awarded $525,903 for the California Alliance for Digital Manufacturing project, $311,078 for the 126 Biology Corridor project and $179,139 for the Pipe Welding project.
This is a particularly exciting accomplishment not only for College of the Canyons, but also for area businesses in a number of different industries, said Dena Maloney, dean of economic development. The grants will fund needed training, build the capacity of the college to develop new training programs, and serve to enhance the effectiveness of the local workforce.
Through three main community college partners (College of the Canyons, Riverside Community College and Saddleback College) and significant industry partnerships, the California Alliance for Digital Manufacturing project will support manufacturing in an eight-county region of Southern California representing the highest concentration of manufacturing activity in the United States.
Three digital manufacturing labs and instructional programs will be created to meet the need oqualified engineering technicians skilled in digital manufacturing machinery and operations. The project also will provide training and support for small businesses in integrating digital manufacturing practices into their operations and link to high school and college programs to encourage engineering program enrollment. It will also provide access to digital manufacturing equipment not otherwise available.
The project partners include:
- Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. (LAEDC)
- Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley
- City of Santa Clarita
- Orange County Business Council
- Sony Corp.
- 3D Systems
- Los Angeles County Business Technology Center
From the initial design stage through completion and mass production, digital manufacturing uses new technologies to promote the reduction of time and increase precision, including the utilization of 3D, CAD/CAM, Rapid Prototyping, Rapid Tooling and management techniques that streamline the manufacturing process.
In the 126 Biology Corridor project, College of the Canyons and Ventura College have partnered to create a comprehensive biotechnology training resource to prepare highly skilled, specialized biological technicians to support the rapid growth of the biotechnology industry in California. The project is named for State Highway 126, which connects Santa Clarita, home of College of the Canyons, and Ventura, home of Ventura College. This region is also the location of the most explosive growth in Californias biotechnology industry.
The project will result in the development of educational laboratories in the Santa Clarita and Ventura areas. In Ventura, the project will develop a fermentation lab to prepare students for biotech positions in agriculture and the life sciences. In Santa Clarita, the project will support the development of a clean-room laboratory to teach students clean-room skills needed for the life sciences, medical and medical device manufacturing industries.
The project will answer a serious need in the biotechnology industry sector of the economy by addressing a chronic shortage of qualified entry-level and advanced biological technicians with specialized skills. Biotechnology is the directed modification or use of biological processes. Applications of biotechnology in society include agriculture, medicine, disease treatment, environmental projection and national security. In addition, the project will support the development of clean room skills, essential to the biomedical device manufacturing industry.
The Pipe Welding project has been developed in direct response to strong need expressed by regional industry and is based on the colleges current welding program certificate, degree, courses and experience. It will result in a new 12-station pipe-welding laboratory, new pipe-welding curriculum and program certification by the American Welding Society.
Welding is a joining process that produces a local coalescence of materials by heating, by applying pressure, or both. In essence, the welding process fuses the surfaces of two distinct elements to form a single unit. Welding and joining technologies are used extensively in commercial and defense manufacturing, and are a significant source of value-added enhancements in the manufacturing process.
These grants represent a major step forward in the continued economic development of our community, Maloney said.