I have spoken before about businesses collaborating with education but now there is another partnership here at home. The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl. (FMA) announced on May 26 that they are making a $500,000 donation to Harper College over a five year period. These funds, in addition to the $1.5 million that Harper is investing, will provide a new 6,000 sq. foot addition being added to the just-completed Advanced Manufacturing lab as well as a scholarship. Furthermore, business partners such as Amada, Mitsubishi, and Miller Electric have stepped forward and pledged donations of equipment such as laser and water-jet cutting machines, press brake and turret press, a robotic welder and more. Harper is throwing a hard hat celebration of the construction of the FMA Metal Fabrication Lab at the end of June.

This joint investment by Harper College, FMA, and equipment partners will expand the manufacturing program by providing additional courses for students from which to choose besides Precision Machining, Welding, Mechatronics, and Maintenance Technology. This is a perfect example of how business is supporting education’s efforts to provide skilled workers for an increasingly sophisticated manufacturing industry.

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