The University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering has announced plans to relocate its Manufacturing Assistance Center’s headquarters to Titusville by the end of the spring.
The MAC, currently located in the Homewood District of Pittsburgh, will be transferring the bulk of its machining hardware, supplies, and personnel to support in-person training at the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville’s Education and Training Hub beginning with its basic machining class as early as this summer.
“This restructuring is an exciting urban-rural partnership that will expand the reach of the University of Pittsburgh in a meaningful way,” said Dr. Catherine Koverola, Pitt-Titusville’s president. “We look forward to continuing to work with all of our hub partners to bring to fruition this innovative educational model, which will help to meet the education and workforce needs of our neighbors in the Titusville region.”
Rob Beatty, the MAC’s current interim director said, “I am excited to see that Pitt is responding to the shortage of skilled labor throughout the oil region and has decided to offer the much-needed educational programs in workforce development at the Titusville campus. This move gives us the opportunity to expand the current reach of our program, and we will continue to offer training in the Pittsburgh area through a cooperation with local industry.”
Beatty also noted the importance of the MAC’s role in the region as an early partner of Pitt-Titusville’s Hub.
“Having the MAC serve as a training partner is a crucial step in helping individuals to enter into well-paying jobs at local manufacturers throughout the area, and we are excited to offer courses in machine technology that will familiarize the students with basic machining skills through advance computer-controlled machine operations and programming.”
Pitt-Titusville is currently undergoing various renovations to support the addition of their new partners.
Renovations on the Broadhurst Science Center, which will house health sciences programs, have already begun.
The Curtis McKinney II Student Union building, which is the planned home of the MAC’s future offices and manufacturing shop, is currently in the design phase, Pitt-Titusville officials are working to secure an architect to move to structural changes to accommodate the MAC.
In the meantime, a temporary space is being evaluated and secured to support training as soon as possible.
The MAC’s initial programming will consist of an eight-week, five days a week, basic machining class, divided between online learning and hands-on work in the shop.
The online portion will include lectures and self-paced online programs. The subjects to be covered will include safety and operating milling machines, lathes, saws, hand tools and surface grinding. Students also will learn print reading, shop math, quality control and inspection techniques.
After completing the first eight-week program, qualifying students will be eligible for the second eight-week course, which will introduce them to the operation and programming of computer-controlled machines.
With online learning and lectures combined with hands-on projects on both the CNC mill and CNC lathe, students will become familiar with operating the equipment used in modern shops.
This class also includes print reading, technical math and an introduction to CAD/CAM software that is used for programming CNC hardware.
Improvements and renovations to the hub are being funded, in part, by the recently awarded WORC grant from 2020.
The total cost of the University of Pittsburgh Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities project at Titusville is $7,210,631.
The U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration WORC grant provides $1,150,631 (16%) of the funds. The remaining $6,060,00 (84%) is funded through other non-federal and state resources.
For further updates on the renovations made to the Pitt-Titusville Hub be sure to visit their website, Titusville.pitt.edu