County College of Morris will construct a $10 million, 30,000-square-foot engineering and manufacturing building in Randolph to allow for an expansion of its educational- and workforce-development programs.
Funding for the project has been secured from the state, Morris County and private donors, the school said. Fall groundbreaking is expected.
The college will move its manufacturing and engineering equipment from an existing building, which it is converting to use for its health science program. Plans for that building include the addition of a “virtual hospital” and expanded program offerings.
CCM President Anthony Iacono said the manufacturing building is an outgrowth of partnerships with Arconic, Convertech, Glenbrook Technologies, National Manufacturing Co., Science Applications International Corp., Triangle Manufacturing and other manufacturers.
“We typically hear employers like our graduates [ask] can we produce more?” Iacono said. “A big part of our business is helping businesses succeed.”
Glenbrook Technologies uses a unique X-ray imaging technology and applies it to electronic assembly, medical devices, pharmaceutical packaging, small animal research and mail security.
“We understand an education at community college should have a vocational component,” Glenbrook Technologies CEO Gil Zweig said. “We are looking for students with a basic engineering background in either electronic engineering or mechanical engineering, a desire to learn and a basic intelligence. You do not need to be a graduate student. … Companies are now teaching what colleges are not teaching.”
For 15 years, Glenbrook Technologies has funded an engineering scholarship at the college for two students per school year, Zweig said. Glenbrook also is providing a paid internship to students.
“We try to fit students into industries that are available,” Zweig said. “Most students go on to a four-year college. Others want a vocational education. The County College of Morris is paying attention to all these factors.”
Glenbrook Technologies has 17 employees, more than two-thirds being CCM grads.
Zweig envisions the new manufacturing building will help prepare students to be skilled employees. He suggests it include an electronics assembly lab and the technology for companies to bring webinars into the classroom.
“We can do that at the County College of Morris,” Zweig said. “We are searching for other applications to introduce into the new manufacturing facility.”
The college also provides continuing education so manufacturing professionals enhance their knowledge and skills as the industry grows, and has broadened its mission to include workforce development. The college has an articulation agreement with four-year universities so students’ credits transfer.
Various manufacturers have donated equipment to the college, another by-product of its long-standing relationship with manufacturers to provide a pipeline of new employees.
“Everything you need to learn cannot be learned in a classroom, even in our labs,” Iacono said. “It is good to go into the workplace.”
CCM has formed an advisory committee of manufacturers in connection with its manufacturing curriculum.