Community College of Rhode Island

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Champlin Foundations grant will be used
to upgrade CCRI's machining lab

Jan. 13, 2014

As the face of the manufacturing industry continues to evolve around the country and in our state, the Community College of Rhode Island keeps moving forward in its quest to prepare the next generation of manufacturing professionals for their technologically advanced future. President Ray Di Pasquale recently announced that the college had received a grant from the Champlin Foundations to upgrade equipment in the college’s machining lab.

Dean of Business, Science and Technology Peter Woodberry said that he was thrilled about the $378,965 grant. “This is a huge boost to our now quite popular computerized numeric control (CNC) certificate programs, which will rely on that new equipment to build the fundamental skills which students will need,” he said.

Woodberry is referring to two new mechanical engineering certificate programs that were unveiled earlier this year: Introduction to CNC Manufacturing and CNC Manufacturing and 3-D Modeling. These two programs give students the foundations they will need to thrive in the modern manufacturing environment, which relies on computer modeling and 3-D printing to develop manufacturing components rather than hand-shaping the items. Woodberry said that some of the college’s existing equipment has been in the lab since the 1970s, making the machines prime candidates for replacement.

“All of the CNC aspects that need to be added to this type of machinery would be very attractive to recruiting students as well as having employers look and see that we’ve really made a commitment to the resurgence of manufacturing in Rhode Island,” he said.

According to the grant proposal submitted to the Champlin Foundations, the funds will go toward the replacement of the college’s four vertical milling machines, four 14-inch lathes, four surface grinders and one drill press. These updates are particularly exciting for the college as th  Governor’s Workforce Board has just announced that its two CNC certificate programs will be used as the classroom portion of a new, nontraditional manufacturing apprenticeship program, said Woodberry.

“It’s a major honor,” he said.


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Last Updated: 2/24/14