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Northland Community to host open house tonight for new manufacturing program

Northland Community and Technical College is showcasing tonight a new manufacturing program built with industry collaboration at its East Grand Forks campus.

The two-year Manufacturing Process Technology A.A.S. program was created with consultation from local manufacturers to build out a curriculum intended to help students get a leg up in the manufacturing workforce. Employers including American Crystal Sugar, Philadelphia Macaroni Co., Cirrus Aircraft and Marvin Windows advised NCTC to target areas of instruction that draw a focus on the systems used in an increasingly high-tech manufacturing workplace.

An NCTC news release states training opportunities for technicians skilled in operating and maintaining automated and robotic equipment has not kept pace with the demand for such workers in the local market.

"We were approached by industries in Grand Forks, who identified the need for us," program instructor Andrew Dahlen stated in the release. "Everybody is using the same technologies, just different applications. They all need technicians — people that can either troubleshoot and maintain automated equipment, or people that can develop and operate new automated equipment."

Dahlen stated the program is designed to teach students both electrical and mechanical skills. Anyone interested in learning more about the program is invited to attend the NCTC open house 5 to 7 p.m. this evening at the college's campus at 2022 Central Avenue Northwest in East Grand Forks.

Andrew Haffner

Andrew Haffner covers higher education and general assignment stories for the Grand Forks Herald. He attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he studied journalism, political science and international studies. He previously worked at the Dickinson Press.

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