Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Manufacturing Education Center Shares Fab Lab Addition

CVTC President Uses Laser to Cut The Metal Ribbon

Article Photo - Manufacturing Education Center Shares Fab Lab Addition

Sunem Beaton-Garcia, CVTC President, uses a laser to cut the ceremonious ribbon for the MEC Automated Fabrication Lab addition at Chippewa Valley Technical College.

Sunem Beaton-Garcia walked into the new welding fabrication lab at Chippewa Valley Technical College wearing a welding jacket and helmet.

Beaton-Garcia isn’t a welder. She’s the president of CVTC.

But that didn’t deter her from volunteering to laser cut the metal ribbon during the Manufacturing Education Center’s event to celebrate the new fabrication lab addition Tuesday.

The event was a way for the college to thank donors and taxpayers who voted to approve a referendum that led to the update in facilities and technology.

Second year CVTC welding students Sam Thurmes, Logan Kilness and Andrew Hartman attended the event and said they’re lucky to be at CVTC during this time, because no other college they know of has this kind of technology.

“It’s crazy,” said Hartman, 19, of Eau Claire. “This is a state-of-the-art facility. You aren’t going to go to any other college and find this kind of equipment.

“We’re presented with this super awesome opportunity that we couldn’t get anywhere else.”
Thurmes and Kilness, both who graduated high school in Ellsworth, said they’re not intimidated by the new equipment as much as excited.

“It’s exciting knowing I’ll be able to run these robot cells by the end of the semester,” Kilness said.

CVTC’s updated space and technology will provide training to upskill employees in alignment with industry trends towards automation, better foster the welding-fabricator apprenticeship program with area businesses and provide equipment access and technical assistance for employers to test new products and evaluate equipment to guide strategic business decisions among other endeavors.

“We’re teaching skills that will be utilized in the future,” said Jeff Sullivan, dean of apprenticeships, engineering, manufacturing and IT. “This innovative addition is bringing additional technology and skills to students and CVTC.”

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