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Hennepin Technical College Receives Grant Funding to Further Automation Robotics Program, Apprenticeships

Instructor Brad Thorpe with student

Brooklyn Park, April 15, 2024

Hennepin Technical College has received a $350,000 Advanced Technological Education (ATE) grant from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. government’s independent science agency. The three-year grant will fund the college’s Automation Robotics Engineering Technology Program expansion to the Brooklyn Park campus and create apprenticeship opportunities with industry partners, which will test Hennepin Techn faculty members’ ideas to improve technician education.

The Automation Robotics Engineering Technology program expansion opened on the Brooklyn Park campus in August of 2023 and is currently enrolling students.

According to Jeff Thorstad, Automation Robotics faculty member, “Hennepin Technical College has a strong relationship with companies in the north suburbs of Minneapolis. Expanding the program offerings to the Brooklyn Park campus not only helps develop the workforce in that area, but brings the technology to communities that may be under-represented in the field.”

As principal investigator, Thorstad will lead the new initiative with faculty members Brad Thorpe, Mark Johnson and in partnership with industry apprenticeship partners Buhler Group, SOMIC Packaging, and Turck Incorporated. The program is supported by Industry groups PMMI, ICATT, and the National Institute of Innovation and Technology (NIIT).

The ATE program focuses on the education of technicians who work in high-tech fields that drive the nation’s economy. Because two-year community and technical colleges are the leading sources of technician education in the United States, faculty from these higher education institutions have had leadership roles in most ATE projects since the program began in 1993.

About Hennepin Technical College

Founded in 1972, Hennepin Technical College is the largest stand-alone technical college in Minnesota. With campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie, the college offers degree and non-degree courses in over 40 programs in the skilled trades and high-demand career fields. Achieving a high job placement rate, Hennepin Tech prepares students for high-paying employment opportunities.


Last updated by mdibba : 2024-04-15 11:32:03