Opening Held for Center to Address Skills Gap, Flexible Manufacturing

Gateway Technical College opens the first flexible manufacturing training center in the region, fueled by a $1.7 million contribution by SC Johnson, at a grand opening event.

Racine, WI February 12, 2013

Gateway Technical College celebrated the grand opening of its expanded SC Johnson integrated Manufacturing and Engineering Technology (iMET) Center, Sturtevant, Wis., today, February 12. The region's first flexible manufacturing training center-Tarnowski Hall- includes training in computer numerical control (CNC) machining, welding, metal fabrication, automated manufacturing systems, and industrial robotics.

SC Johnson, a 127-year-old family-owned company in Racine, has a nearly 20-year partnership with Gateway and is a major contributor to the project. Over the past 10 months, S C Johnson has contributed $1.7 million to support Gateway programming, including the iMET Center expansion and programing, such as Gateway's high-impact manufacturing-related boot camp.

"We are proud to support organizations like Gateway that are doing such good work within our community," said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. "Through their programming and hands-on learning approach, Gateway brings much needed, well-prepared graduates to the local workforce, strengthening the overall quality of life and economy of the area."

Johnson, who joined in the grand opening festivities, discussed Gateway's commitment to helping students reach their potential by creating opportunities to progress in the manufacturing field. He said these efforts also help address the area's skills gap-the dichotomy of high, unmet demand for skilled workers by manufacturers during times of equally high unemployment.

"Gateway Technical College values its partnership with SC Johnson to accelerate our efforts to close the employment skills gap in our region," said Dr. Bryan Albrecht, president and CEO of Gateway Technical College.

"The continued commitment to community demonstrated by the SC Johnson contribution is remarkable. We are excited about creating the region's first flexible manufacturing lab at the SC Johnson iMET Center and honored by SC Johnson's trust in Gateway's ability to deliver results to our communities and its employers."

To date, Gateway stands on a record of accomplishment. Its CNC boot camp is one of Gateway's most successful programs with Racine Workforce Development, reporting an employment placement rate of 95 percent since the program began in 2006. The sixteenth CNC boot camp was completed in January, 2013.

The nearly 18,000-square-foot addition, which brings the facility to 61,000 square feet, features the College's first Fab Lab, focused on industrial design and rapid prototyping, Gateway's engineering technology educational programs and CNC and welding and fabrication boot camp accelerated training.

For more information about the SC Johnson iMET Center or the training offered there, contact: Debbie Davidson, Gateway vice president Workforce and Economic Development at davidsond(at)gtc(dot)edu; (262)564-3422.

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