Schoolcraft College’s new manufacturing and engineering center will take students through every step of the manufacturing process.
They can design a piece in the computer lab, and then send it to the 3D printer a few rooms over. Students will also have access to welding, plastics manufacturing, metallurgy and robotics technology.
The 48,000-square-foot, $14 million facility is in the middle of Livonia’s industrial strip on Merriman Road, not far from the intersection with Schoolcraft Road. Glenn Cerny, the college’s president, said the center will help fill needed jobs throughout the community.
“I’m most excited that we’re connecting to the needs of the community,” said Joan Gebhardt, chair of the college’s board of trustees. “Our community is telling us that we need to train people. So we’re meeting the needs of the community and we’re educating our population.
The center, which opened to students in the winter, more than doubles the space manufacturing and engineering programs had before on the college’s main campus near the Seven Mile and Haggerty roads intersection.
“It’s two to three times more square feet than we had before for our engineering and technology programs,” said Rob Leadley, dean of occupational programs and economic development. “The biggest advantage of that is safety: Our old labs on the main campus were kind of crowded. This is a modernized facility, it’s not your grandfather’s industry.”
Schoolcraft has partnerships with Alpha USA, NYX, Magna and Roush to facilitate training and job opportunities. Cerny said the school also plans to partner with local school districts to introduce middle school students to industry.
“We’re working on a middle school program to help them understand that working with your hands is actually a good thing,” he said. “It’s a fun thing and you can actually, cognitively, learn more by working with your hands.”