This week, I had the pleasure of meeting a new group of ‘instructors’ at our Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC) in Oshkosh, where we prepare welders and metal fabricators. These new ‘instructors’ complement our already incredibly gifted faculty members at the AMTC, yet they’re a bit unusual. They’re robots!
That’s right, thanks to the ongoing support of our industry partners, we now have eight robotic welders in place to help our students build important skills in automation and programming. I was fascinated to watch these robots twist and turn in virtually every direction to make precision welds fast and efficiently. One student said it best, “I don’t want to ever lose my job to robots; I want to be the one to program and control them!”
Employers throughout the region continue to call for advanced manufacturing skills, and I’m delighted to see that our deans and instructors remain ahead of the curve in training the workforce for today and for the future. One of our instructors, Ben Cebery, took the lead this past summer to write curriculum for robotic welding applications. Thanks to his expertise and leadership, more welding and metal fabrication students can now enhance their marketability even further for industries that need them.