Palm Beach State College is set to launch a new Center for Excellence in Engineering Technology at both the Belle Glade and Palm Beach Gardens campuses thanks to a $2 million award from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund.
Slated to open in August, the center will allow PBSC to expand its engineering program offerings. The college will add a fourth concentration in advanced manufacturing for the engineering technology associate in science degree and launch three new college credit certificates in industrial technician, automation and lean manufacturing, bringing the total to five.
PBSC will also hire five employees, including a director of the center and two faculty members.
The grant award will also help aid the college in boosting the number of highly trained, middle-skill workers to meet the needs of the aviation, aerospace, manufacturing, clean tech and defense industries.
“We are honored and excited to be one of the 2018-2019 Florida Job Growth Grant recipients,” said Ava L. Parker, PBSC president. “The grant will allow us to enhance and grow our engineering training programs and provide additional career paths for students.”
The $2,060,919 grant is part of $9 million in awards that former Gov. Rick Scott announced before concluding his second term. He and the Florida Legislature created the fund in 2017, providing $85 million for improving public infrastructure and enhancing workforce training in the state. The fund was approved again by the legislature for $85 million for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
PBSC anticipates enrolling 500 students in the college credit certificates in the first year, increasing to 2,000 by 2023.
“We want to be top of mind for all of the high school students, parents, advisors and teachers when it comes to any kind of engineering education,” said Professor Oleg Andric, chair of the electrical power technology program who helped craft the grant proposal.
Pictured above: Engineering Technology student Jessy Peralta, who recently graduated, assembles the newly acquired break and load machinery fault simulator used in classes.