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Friday, May 24, 2024

College District Receives $5 Million

The Santa Clarita Community College District received more than $5 million in federal funding to purchase equipment that will provide training in robotic automation production, non-destructive inspections of aircraft and firefighting, 

The funding was part of a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package signed by President Joe Biden on Dec. 29. It was secured by Congressman Mike Garcia (R-Santa Clarita) and Senators Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein, according to a release from the district, which oversees College of the Canyons. 

Dianne G. Van Hook, the chancellor of College of the Canyons, said the school was grateful to the senators and congressman for their support in helping it continue to provide skilled training in high-demand careers. 

“The funding for these projects related to addressing the critical demand for trained workers and technicians in robotic automation production, NDI (non-destructive inspections) and firefighting will directly benefit our students and community,” Van Hook said in a statement. 

The efforts of Padilla and Garcia led to the successful securement of $1 million in community project funding for a Robotics Automation Production Lab and Simulation Center at the college, the district’s release said. 

The funding will go toward purchasing advanced manufacturing equipment necessary to provide training and increase capacity in advanced manufacturing within the Robotic Automation Production Lab and Simulation Center housed in the college’s Advanced Technology Center. 

The center will provide technical training to more than 300 students per year for high-skill jobs in advanced manufacturing/computerized machining, welding/material joining, robotic welding, integrated personal fabrication, integration with the Internet of Things, and construction technologies, the release added. 

“This project will continue the college’s demonstrated history of creating a supportive community network to help students successfully navigate pathways from high school to college and eventually to employment in high-wage, high-demand fields,” Harriet Happel, dean of career education, integrative learning, and the Employment Center at the college, said in a statement. 

Garcia also secured $2 million in funding through the National Defense Authorization Act for non-destructive inspection and training for defense applications at the college’s Advanced Technology Center (ATC). 

An important part of aviation safety, NDIs are performed to identify internal and external imperfections in aircraft in relation to structural integrity, composition, and properties. Equipment and training for skilled NDI technicians have many implications for national defense, as all military aircraft are required to go through NDI prior to flight, the district’s release said. 

Equipment and training through the school’s technology center will enable technicians to work with NDI testing methods, such as X-ray, ultrasound radiography, penetrant testing, eddy current and thermography, the release said. 

“Aerospace manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co., and Northrop Grumman Corp. are currently experiencing a shortage of trained NDI technicians,” Happel said. “By creating an NDI training program at the ATC, College of the Canyons will enable key defense and industrial companies to maintain their technological advantage and enhance national security and aircraft safety.” 

Feinstein and Padilla also secured $2.3 million in funding for the purchase of Regional Fire Academy equipment to expand its capacity to train and provide work-based learning experience to new entry and mid-career firefighter workers and technicians, the district’s release added. 

The Regional Fire Academy training and certifications provided by the school will streamline and expedite worker entry to middle-skill jobs while helping regional and statewide fire organizations close the widening skill gap, the release said. 

Hannah Madans Welk
Hannah Madans Welk
Hannah Madans Welk is a managing editor at the Los Angeles Business Journal and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. She previously covered real estate for the Los Angeles Business Journal. She has done work with publications including The Orange County Register, The Real Deal and doityourself.com.

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