Monaca, PA – The Community College of Beaver County (CCBC) has launched a Mechatronics program to prepare students for high-growth job opportunities in advanced and automated manufacturing sectors. The Mechatronics career pathway includes certificates from CCBC and the Manufacturing Skills Institute, associate degree, journeyman, and ultimately a hands-on, high-tech, high paying career in manufacturing.
Mechatronics is a field of study focusing on the integration of mechanical, electronics, computers, and control systems technologies of machines and processes.
Mechatronics program graduates are vital in advanced manufacturing and Industry 4.0 because of their hands-on training and expertise in integrating mechanical, electrical, and computer systems. Graduates maintain and optimize equipment, troubleshoot complex setups, and analyze data for process and quality improvement. They integrate cyber-physical systems, work with collaborative robots, and embrace artificial intelligence (AI). Their adaptability and multidisciplinary skills make them indispensable in transforming manufacturing into interconnected, efficient, and data-driven operations.
“Primary metals, glass, construction materials, chemical processing, and material handling/inventory control companies in southwestern PA are very excited about the program and have already enrolled students in the first cohort,” according to John Goberish, Dean School of Industrial Technology and Continuing Education. “The registered apprenticeship component of this program and available grant funding were other keys that got companies interested.”
High-demand manufacturing industries including semiconductors, food and beverage, aerospace, and medical equipment need personnel to perform daily operations using the skills learned in the mechatronics program.
Typical job titles of program graduates include Automation Technician, Robotics Technician, Machinery Technician, Field Service Technician, Industrial Maintenance, and Electrical Assembler. Projected employment growth for these roles in Pennsylvania is five percent and in the United States, growth is projected at six percent per year through 2026.
Classes are being conducted in CCBC’s state-of-the-art, Shell Center for Process Technology Education. With a focus on hands-on learning, training equipment includes pneumatic and hydraulic systems, electrical control systems, collaborative robots, a fully operational plant, and dedicated manufacturing cells.
Paul Alwin, Lead Faculty of Mechatronics and Process Technology said, “Students train on the actual devices and equipment commonly found in real manufacturing environments, enabling them to have an immediate positive impact in their work.”
CCBC has received $405,050 under the Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better Challenge to launch the Mechatronics pathway and integrate two additional programs, robotics and AI which are currently being developed.
This year, CCBC initiated a new partnership with Eaton Corporation in Beaver, Pennsylvania. Eaton Corporation is a power management company that conducts business in more than 175 countries. This year, the Eaton Charitable Foundation provided a $150,000 donation to the College to purchase state of-the-art robotics and mechatronics training equipment and technology essential to the expansion of CCBC’s advanced manufacturing training programs. The company will collaborate with CCBC to upskill its manufacturing team around automation.