penn college PPL mechatronics donation

Left: Student Andrew C. Caffrey, an automation engineering technology: mechatronics major from Dover, Pa., uses a portable modular trainer.

Right: Student Thomas J. McClung, an automation engineering technology: mechatronics student from Orefield, chooses one of the many training accessories available in the mechatronics lab.

Williamsport, Pa. – In order to enhance the knowledge and skills of Pennsylvania College of Technology's mechatronics students, PPL has provided $13,000 for the purchase of training gear. The new equipment will be used by both mechatronics majors and apprentices in the Workforce Development program.

The funding was used to purchase mechanical and hydraulic components as well as a flammable liquid cabinet to fulfill safety requirements.

The skill set required to keep machines, mechanical equipment and facilities in repair continually becomes more complex. Mechatronics – the combination of two or more maintenance occupations such as industrial electricity, hydraulics and pneumatics, motor controls, and programmable logic controllers – is a highly desirable career field addressing industry needs.

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Penn College uses LabVolt-brand portable, modular trainers designed to be expandable and adaptable in the college’s mechatronics lab. With industry demand rising, mechatronics enrollment has increased steadily, generating the need for additional mobile trainers and components to maintain an optimal ratio of students per trainer.

“PPL continues to invest not only in education, but in the industries and companies that employ our highly skilled graduates,” said Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations at the college. “This grant has enabled Penn College to expand offerings in mechatronics, which features a skill set highly prized by so many employers. We thank PPL for its continued commitment to hands-on technology education and to our ‘tomorrow maker’ students.”

“PPL is pleased to be part of the solution for a growing industry need,” said Tracie L. Witter, regional affairs director for the Allentown-based energy company, which has been a Penn College corporate partner for more than three decades. “By helping to purchase these trainers and components, PPL is further serving our customers (residential and commercial) by enabling more students to learn the vital skills necessary for a meaningful career and to help fill the skills gap.”

Penn College has developed programs to address the skills gap in mechatronics, including two- and four-year degrees, as well as pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs offered by its Workforce Development department.

This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.