American Association of Community Colleges and National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers are Working to Help Community Colleges Prepare Workers for Industry 4.0

The manufacturing industry is quickly evolving with new technologies being launched every day. As manufacturing companies continue to evolve, it is important to assure that the workforce is ready to maximize those new technologies and processes for companies to stay competitive in the global marketplace. That is why the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC) have teamed up to support community colleges to prepare workers to meet Industry 4.0 demands through the “Creating Connections with Manufacturing Communities with Community Colleges” initiative. With support from Arconic Foundation, AACC and NCATC will help advance colleges’ manufacturing programs that support careers in Industry 4.0-related manufacturing. “AACC is very excited to launch this project with our Affiliate Council NCATC. Community colleges are resilient and have the capacity to quickly evolve to support local industry demand. This project will work to bridge any skills gaps and promote model programs to showcase the innovation and adaptability that community colleges can provide to support their industry partners and help their students thrive in the ever-changing job market.” – Jen Worth, Sr. Vice President, Workforce and Economic Development, AACC. 

“NCATC is delighted to be partnering with AACC and Arconic Foundation to connect many of our community college members with our Manufacturing USA Institute partners on Industry 4.0 workforce development strategies, action plans, initiatives, and programs, including: America Makes, DMDII, LIFT, ARM, NextFlex, NIMBL, and REMADE” – Craig McAtee, Executive Director, NCATC. This work to support community colleges will be done by sharing and expanding the most effective industry connections and tactical applications in the manufacturing industry. The following community colleges from targeted communities with high manufacturing demand were selected to participate as part of the cohort: 


  • Cuyahoga Community College, OH*
  • Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, IA 
  • Grand Rapids Community College, MI
  • Ivy Tech Community College, IN
  • Lorain County Community College, OH*
  • Pellissippi State Community College, TN
  • Reading Area Community College, PA
  • Thomas Nelson Community College, VA
  • Westmoreland County Community College, PA

*Cuyahoga Community College and Lorain County Community College are partnered on a joint project to serve one community. The cohort consists of eight communities and nine community colleges. 

AACC and NCATC will help improve the content and processes for education and training on behalf of the employment pipelines for the selected communities through asset identification, community preparation, and identify promising practices in advanced technology and manufacturing for the incumbent and future workforce pipelines in the U.S. The project will provide technical assistance to a cohort of nine colleges in diverse areas such as Cybersecurity, Simulation, System Integration, Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Industrial Internet-of-Things (IIoT), Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Robotics, etc.

About the American Association of Community Colleges
As the voice of the nation’s community colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), delivers educational and economic opportunity for 12 million diverse students in search of the American Dream. Uniquely dedicated to access and success for all students, AACC’s nearly 1,200 member colleges provide an on-ramp to degree attainment, skilled careers and family-supporting wages. Located in Washington, D.C., AACC advocates for these not-for-profit, public-serving institutions to ensure they have the resources and support they need to deliver on the mission of increasing economic mobility for all.

About the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers

NCATC is an Affiliated Council of the American Association of Community Colleges, actively participates on their Commission on Economic and Workforce Development and is a co-sponsor of the annual AACC Workforce Development Institute (WDI) conference. Founded in 1988 from a public/private collaboration of industry, education and government, NCATC’s network of community and technical colleges has grown to over 170 institutions and 30 corporate Strategic Partner Alliance members with Advanced Technology and Manufacturing expertise to lead and advance workforce development curriculum, programs, and initiatives. NCATC’s Strategic Focus Areas Include: 1) Industry 4.0: Emerging Trends in Advanced Technology and Manufacturing; 2) Apprenticeships, Work-Based Learning and Entrepreneurship in Workforce; 3) Competency-Based Learning in Workforce Development, 4) Industry-Recognized Credentials and Certifications; and 5) Adult Education and Learning Opportunities. To that end, NCATC is committed to ensuring that each member is provided support in its development and evolution as an agent of change with emerging technologies - within their own communities.  

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