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Clark State Awarded Grant, Plans to Expand Robotics and Welding Programs

March 2, 2020 (Springfield, OH) – Clark State Community College has been selected to receive $132,233 as part of the RAPIDS—Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills program—from the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE).

“Clark State’s engagement in the RAPIDS program will help improve Ohio's workforce development capacity, strengthen business and industry partnerships and train Ohio's workers for the jobs they will encounter in our 21st century economy,” Randy Gardner, chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education stated in an award letter to Clark State.

In 2018, Clark State was awarded $93,131 from RAPIDS which was used to strengthen Clark State’s CyberSecurity/Information Assurance, Manufacturing and Physical Therapist Assistant programs.

“Clark State continues to be laser focused on the needs of industry and our region,” said Aimee Belanger-Haas, dean of business and applied technologies for Clark State. “We look forward to having our students being trained on the latest trends in industry.”

This latest grant consortium opted to focus on welding robotics and 3D metal printing. Clark State will purchase two Motoman welding robot cells to integrate into the current Robotics certificate. Additional curriculum around robotic welding will be developed. The new robotic welders will be integrated into the Robotics Certificate for the 20-21 academic year.

With Clark State’s purchase of two robotic weld cells, students in the Manufacturing Engineering Technology associate degree, Mechanical Engineering Technology associate degree, Industrial Technology associate degree and Manufacturing Technology Management bachelor’s degree will use these trainers to enhance the knowledge of robotics used in manufacturing and robotic maintenance.

“Students who complete the program will seek employment as engineering managers, industrial machinery mechanics, industrial production managers, manufacturing production technicians and mechanical engineering technicians,” said Nora Hatem, associate professor for Engineering Technologies at Clark State.

The Cascade Corporation in Clark County, Ohio, supports the RAPIDS program at Clark State stating, “Robotics applications in manufacturing are growing significantly. Employees with these skills are necessary for our organization and manufacturing in our region. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Clark State in this endeavor.”

The specific skills that Clark State’s graduates will gain include:

  • Evaluate industrial robotic welding systems.

  • Create and troubleshoot program for industrial robotic welding applications.

  • Develop a preventative maintenance plan.

  • Troubleshoot a malfunctioning robot.


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