Vermont Technical College has received an $8 million grant for new equipment and other upgrades that leaders hope will bring cutting edge training to engineering and manufacturing students.
The state-of-the-art equipment will go in a renovated space at VTC’s Randolph campus, and the project is being considered Vermont’s first advanced manufacturing, education, research and development facility.
The grant was awarded by the U.S. Army’s Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment Office. VTC President Patricia Moulton said the new equipment will help VTC compete with other colleges that have bolstered their manufacturing and engineering programs, and there’s other benefits for the State as a whole.
“For us to be able to have that here for our students to learn on, as well as be able to bring in incumbent workers from other industries, it really puts us in a better place to be more beneficial to Vermont and Vermont manufacturing,” Moulton said.
Senator Patrick Leahy said in a statement that the new facility will “ensure that more Vermonters have the training and skills to match the latest generation of manufacturing jobs.”
President Moulton said it won’t be long before there’s a clearer picture on the timeline and specifics of the new facility.
“We’re going to be ordering equipment and getting everything set up so that we fully expect to be well in line and running by this time next year, and hopefully we can get some construction done this Christmas, but probably next summer is our bigger period,” Moulton said.
After conversations with Vermont businesses and VTC, Sen. Leahy secured funding for the IBAS program in the Fiscal Year 2020 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill. The U.S. Army’s IBAS program is designed to strategically invest in the civilian manufacturing design, engineering, and production sector to ensure capability in the event of a national emergency. The center will further tailor Vermont Tech’s educational programs to the real-world needs of Vermont manufacturers.