Category Archives: TEAM Center
When Richland College was awarded the $3.25 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor in Sept. 2014, the potential impact on local industry was evident. The funds from this grant, along with multiple partnerships with employers in Dallas, Richardson and Garland, would equip Richland College with the tools and technology needed to train local veterans and others seeking to enter or re-enter the high-demand technology job market. In turn, local companies would receive qualified employees ready for immediate employment and trained on industry-recognized equipment.
Richland College’s Technology, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) Center is a very tangible result of the TAACCCT grant funds. The space is fully equipped with leading edge, industry-quality technology that allows engineering and manufacturing students to have relevant, hands-on experience and career-focused training. It features an advanced manufacturing center, electronics engineering equipment, a robotics training lab and multiple classrooms for additional technology training.
It is in this innovative, technologically advanced place that the other tangible results of the grant have been taking shape as students prepare to enter the workforce.
Cisco Iturbe is an electrical engineering technology student at Richland College and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He has been attending Richland College for several semesters and is looking forward to graduating soon with one course remaining. His immediate goal is to get a job in the electrical engineering field, and he hopes eventually to own his own business.
After completing four years of active duty and two years in the reserves, Iturbe came to Richland College because of the equipment he saw set up in the labs, which he felt allowed students the opportunity to learn in an industry-standard environment and gain vital hands-on experience. As a student, the variety of equipment available has also provided Iturbe the opportunity to enhance his electronics technology education with experience in other areas that may help him in the future, such hydraulics, manufacturing and robotics.
“For me, doing things hands-on is very important,” said Iturbe. “Once you get your hands on something, it makes a world of difference because if you’ve never touched it, you don’t know what it feels like or what it does. If you don’t know that, then how are you going to do anything with it? So Richland College gives me the opportunity to learn and embed it as a muscle memory, not just an educational memory.”
“I would recommend Richland because of the different areas they teach you,” said Iturbe. “I’m here for electronics, but I’ve learned a few other things that have helped. Richland is here to help in a lot of ways—so many people want to help you. The staff is really uplifting, and the professors really know their stuff.”
According to Garth Clayton, Ph. D., Richland College’s dean of resource development, Iturbe is one of approximately 50 veterans who are now involved in the advanced manufacturing or electronics technology programs in the TEAM Center.
“One of the things we offer here is the replication of the real experience,” said Clayton. “We have invested a great deal of our resources in offering different brands of the same equipment that people use in real life. And what happens is that [the students] learn to do everything here to walk into the job, able to work with whatever the employer provides. So they are hitting the ground running whenever they obtain one of our degrees or certificates.”
Advanced manufacturing student Monica Lee has watched the TEAM Center develop around her and become a thriving learning space as she has studied at Richland College during the past three years.
“I was looking to do something with 3D modeling and design, things like AutoCAD and industrial design. I live here in Dallas, and I was doing research and saw that Richland had those classes offered here,” said Lee. “I came down and checked out the campus and was really impressed with what was available. Even though the lab wasn’t finished when I started, I got to see it come to fruition, and it’s just an amazing facility.”
To prepare Lee and other advanced manufacturing students, the program at Richland College teaches them each step of the process, starting with designing a part on a computer that will later be manufactured. From there, students design how the machine will cut the part, and once that is complete, they simply walk down the hall to the lab and actually create what they designed, cutting the metal and setting up the machines themselves. Lee describes this start-to-finish education as hands-on support to what students learn in the classroom, which to her is key to understanding what goes into the technical requirements of manufacturing.
Lee will graduate this May with not only her class experience, but also on-the-job training through an internship obtained via Richland’s corporate partnership with Raytheon Precision Manufacturing, where she hopes to continue working and growing in her career after graduating with an associate degree.
“All the technology at this internship was the same, and all the skills that I learned here [at Richland College] were immediately used from day one,” said Lee. “It helped me be able to shine in the job because I knew firsthand what was going on. So it was actually really seamless to go from Richland to my internship.”
While Iturbe and Lee are studying in different programs and have different goals, both of them, along with many other students, have benefited from the TAAACCCT grant and Richland College’s TEAM Center.
“Cisco [Iturbe] is a great example of someone who likes our program and can see a future for himself in it, and Monica [Lee] is also an example of the way that our students are able to transition into the workforce very quickly and very easily,” said Clayton. “As part of this community, which includes a very vibrant advanced manufacturing and electronics technology group of corporations and shops, we are pleased to be able to support them in this way.”
As a direct result of the grant, Richland College’s accomplishments to date include: 14,500 square feet of renovated space; $1.3 million worth of capital equipment and $400,000 worth of minor equipment, all installed and now operating since 2016; three additional faculty members and three additional staff members hired; two credit certificate and one continuing education certificate offerings added; 37 Associate of Applied Science degrees and 39 certificates in electronics and manufacturing awarded; 32 Associate of Applied Science degrees and 136 certificates in computer information technology awarded since that program’s inclusion in the grant; 292 students enrolled in electronics and manufacturing programs and 464 students in computer information technology programs in the 2018 spring semester; and 277 passed NIMS credentials in eight different credential exams. In addition, Richland College has also completed a cognitive task analysis and received new courseware for wire EDM, another common manufacturing process.
Even though the grant has ended, Richland College will continue to offer the curricula that were promised in the grant; offer credit for prior learning; add and replace additional equipment such as hydraulics, motor controls, modular assembly systems and programmable logic controllers; and will be adding new automation courses for aerospace, defense and communication needs.
Prior to installing the new equipment in the TEAM Center, Richland College donated all its previous, usable equipment to the Richardson Independent School District and the Garland Independent School District. Richland College also has technology-based early college high school programs with Dallas Independent School District’s Hillcrest High School and Emmett J. Conrad High School, giving high school students the opportunity to earn both their high school diploma and an Associate of Applied Science degree in just four years.
A recent event at Richland College celebrated these accomplishments and the student success that came as a direct result of the TAACCCT grant funds. At the event, Richardson mayor Paul Voelker spoke about the impact the grant had upon Richland College, and as a direct result, the impact of those workforce-ready students entering the local job force, specifically in Richardson’s Telecom Corridor.
“I’m keenly aware of what you’re doing here and the value added,” Voelker told the crowd. “It’s so important today that our employers know that their talent is here, and if it’s not here, we can create it here, or we can reinvent it here because we are always constantly learning.”
“Coming full-circle and seeing the advanced manufacturing capabilities that we can do right here, not only in the USA, but in north Texas, is pretty cool. We can compete with anybody in the world, at any level, because we have the talent and what it takes to make those businesses successful.”
For more information about Richland College’s School of Engineering and Technology or the TEAM Center, visit richlandcollege.edu/et.
Eleven high school juniors from Richland Collegiate High School (RCHS) recently completed the first course in a new engineering pathway, paving the way not only for the students to get a head start on college-level courses while still in high school, but also for the students to become immediately employable, with some students even achieving a level-one manufacturing certification.
The first class in this new pathway was Drafting 1309, an intensive 13-day class taught by Mohammad-Ali Manouchehripour, Ph.D. In addition to basic drafting, students learned computer-aided design (CAD), a basic foundation of engineering, with the software AutoCAD. In this class, students learned how to draw an object and create a blueprint, and later they will actually be able to manufactur those objects.
“I think AutoCAD is a good software to learn in general because it has such a wide range of uses,” said Mitchell Zadnik, one of the RCHS students enrolled in Drafting 1309. “Our instructor told us some people take the class to make jewelry, some people take it for engineering and some people take it for the general knowledge of it.”
Students in the engineering pathway have access to Richland College’s Technology, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) Center, a multi-million dollar learning space with leading edge, industry-quality technology that allows engineering and manufacturing students to have contemporary, hands-on learning experiences and career-focused training.
“Our students are going to be designing, developing and manufacturing their own parts and then assembling them into their own robotic assessments at the end of the program,” said Craig Hinkle, RCHS principal. “It is a very unique opportunity in public education for 16-year-old high school students to have access to multi-million dollar labs and manufacturing processes. When they leave here, they’ll be employable in the industry before they’ve even received their college degrees.”
“All of the software students learn in this class and this program can be added to their portfolios,” said Manouchehripour. “When they go to job interviews in two years, they will have experience with the software currently being used in the industry. Here at Richland College, everyone is a team. Our main agenda is to make sure we educate students, and to be a supplier to the demands of the local industries.”
When filling the inaugural drafting class, RCHS looked for students who were interested in math, science and engineering; students who may have already been in robotics clubs at their previous high schools; and students who had previously taken advanced math courses. For the duration of their time at RCHS, the students will work closely with RCHS senior academic advisors to develop a continued pathway based on their future educational and career goals.
Most of the 11 students in the inaugural class have dreams to go into various engineering fields, including but not limited to aerospace, biotechnical, software, manufacturing and mechanical. Other career aspirations include architecture, mathematics, marine biology and security.
In a pathway traditionally dominated by men, administrators were also pleased when the inaugural class had more female students than male students.
“More than 50 percent of the students are female, and we are really excited about that,” said Hinkle. “There has been a trend that math and science fields are dominated by males, and we as an American society have been trying to change that. Right now, we actually have about a 60/40 female-to-male ratio, of which we are proud. We hope that will be an inspiration to other female students in the future.”
Johannah Belk, one female RCHS student, joined this program because it offered more opportunities in engineering than her previous high school did.
“I’ve explored many different fields of engineering, but doing AutoCAD all day, every day in this course made me realize it’s what I want to do every day for the rest of my life, which is pretty exciting,” said Belk. “I’m hoping to design locks and go into security. I think the mechanisms inside locks can be advanced with growing technology, and I want to be a part of that.”
Another female RCHS student, Alaina Crowder, joined the program so she could gain college experience in high school before transferring to a four-year university.
“My dream job is to be a manufacturing engineer,” said Crowder. “After taking this class and being shown around a manufacturing lab, I became super interested in that field. I hope I’ll be able to work in a lab like this one someday.”
Richland Collegiate High School is a school designed to provide a rigorous academic experience for high school juniors and seniors. Students complete their last two years of high school at Richland College by taking college courses and earning college credits. These students can potentially graduate with both their high school diploma and an associate degree, prepared to transfer to a four-year university. Tuition and books are free, making RCHS an educational and affordable choice.
For more information about Richland Collegiate High School, visit alt.richlandcollege.edu/rchs.
Texas State Representative Linda Koop and her district director, Caitlin Dempsey, recently visited Richland College and toured the Technology, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) Center on campus. Rep. Koop and Dempsey also met with Rose Galloway, Richland College associate vice president of workforce training and continuing education, to discuss workforce training, career/technical programs and continuing education programs at Richland College.
“Linda Koop and Caitlin Dempsey were very impressed and energized by the workforce-relevant programs and equipment at Richland College,” said Galloway. “They both committed to continued support and communication about Richland College to others while they are out in the community.”
Galloway frequently tours local businesses with faculty and administrators from Richland College’s School of Engineering and Technology, along with a national credentialing expert to ensure the TEAM Center remains a state-of-the-industry facility. These tours are done to ensure the manufacturing lab on campus continues to produce graduates who can enter the workforce and make an immediate contribution.
“We did industry tours and noticed that many of the local manufacturing companies have the exact same equipment that we have in the lab,” said Galloway. “Our students are training on pieces of equipment that they will actually work with after graduation.”
Recently, Galloway, manufacturing faculty member Brian Fleming and Melanie Stover, former director of strategic initiatives for the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), conducted tours with Curtis Riley, general manager of True Cut EDM, Inc. in Garland, and Mark Muynnerlyn, vice president of Turnamatic Machine, Inc. in Richardson.
“During the tours, we talked about starting salaries, job potential, challenges in the industry, the workforce, equipment, ideas and more,” said Galloway. “It was a chance to stay in contact with the industry to make sure Richland College is producing a quality workforce.”
Many of the machines seen during the industry tours are currently available in Richland College’s TEAM Center, a multi-million dollar center with leading edge, industry-quality technology that allows engineering and manufacturing students to have contemporary, hands-on learning experiences and career-focused training. The TEAM Center helps students become better prepared for jobs in engineering, electrical engineering technology, electronics technology and advanced manufacturing.
For more information about the TEAM Center, visit richlandcollege.edu/et.
The Richland College Technology, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) Center had its grand opening yesterday, advancing the college’s mission of teaching, learning and community building. The new TEAM Center also addresses the need to contribute to the growth of the current and future Dallas economy by developing human capital success of key regional industries and employers.
With leading edge, industry-quality technology, the Richland College TEAM Center offers students hands-on learning experiences and delivers career-focused training leading to high-demand jobs in engineering, electrical engineering technology, electronics technology and advanced manufacturing.
Funding for the TEAM Center design, renovation and equipment was made possible through the $1.5 million portion of equipment funding provided by a $3.2 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor; more than $2.7 million from the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) Chancellor’s Career Ladder Funds; $1.6 million from Richland College’s institutional funds; and a gift of $500,000 from Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) to fund the newly-redesigned electrical engineering technology programs at Richland, Eastfield and Mountain View colleges.
“The TEAM Center is fully equipped to provide students exceptional hands-on, industry-specific, degree-focused, problem-based learning experiences and career training with stackable industry-recognized certifications,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., Richland College president.
President Eggleston and Dr. Joe May, DCCCD chancellor, presided at the open house and ribbon cutting, with special guests including Dr. Peter Balyta, president of Texas Instruments Education Technology, and Edgar Garcia, Workforce Development Specialist with the U.S. Department of Labor.
“The leadership of Dallas County Community College District Chancellor Dr. Joe May has been paramount in the success of the significant public-private partnerships necessary to make this TEAM Center possible,” said Eggleston. “Chancellor May is deeply committed to improving the Dallas economy by helping to grow middle-class jobs to jump start new economic investment and job creation.”
The TEAM Center was designed by Aaron Farmer, Yvette Jarvis and Fred Peña of Booziotis & Company Architects. Also involved in the design and construction process were David Boon and Ken Fulk, project engineers with Reed, Wells, Benson and Company; Jacob Williams, project manager, and Danny Purselley, project superintendent, with Byrne Construction Services; Judy Lembke, construction manager with Lemco Construction Services; and Clyde Porter, DCCCD associate vice chancellor/district architect, and Jean Hill, DCCCD project manager.
The advanced manufacturing program at Richland College prepares students for entry-level manufacturing positions through an associate degree, three certificates and two skills achievement awards. The electrical engineering technology degree and electronics technology degree prepare students for technician-level employment in semiconductor, electronics and related industries through an associate degree or a certificate.
Richland College will host an open house at 3 p.m. Apr. 21 to celebrate the grand opening of its new Technology, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) Center, located in Wichita Hall.
With leading-edge, industry-quality technology, the TEAM Center at Richland College offers students hands-on learning experiences and delivers career-focused training leading to high-demand jobs in engineering, electrical engineering technology, electronics and advanced manufacturing.
The TEAM Center was made possible in part by a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. This $3.25 million grant equipped Richland College with the tools to train Texans who require new, up-to-date job skills for immediate employment. Additional funding for the TEAM Center was provided by Texas Instruments and Dallas County Community College District and Richland College funds.
“With TAACCCT funds, Richland College is strategically positioned to bridge critical gaps of two kinds: one between the workforce and specialized employment training, and the other between that workforce and local employer needs,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., Richland College president.
President Eggleston and Joe D. May, Ed.D., Dallas County Community College District chancellor will preside at the open house and ribbon cutting. Attendees will have the chance to visit the advanced manufacturing lab, robotics lab and electronics labs, where the new equipment and student instructional demonstrations will be on display.
The advanced manufacturing program prepares students for entry-level manufacturing positions through an associate degree plan, certificate plan or two skills achievement awards. The electronics technology program prepares students for technician-level employment in electronics and related industries through an associate degree plan or a certificate plan.