360 Manufacturing Center of Excellence receives NSF grant

Bemidji, MN—360 Manufacturing Center of Excellence, led by Bemidji State University, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Regional Center award for $2.55 million. This grant will support efforts to increase graduates in advanced manufacturing programs at 360 partner colleges through 2019.

360 will work closely with college partners, industry stakeholders and high school educators to:

  • Offer 360 eTECH online and hands-on education to high school students.
  • Use mediated telepresence technology to meet technician education needs.
  • Develop a competency-based education model to integrate with the 360 Seamless Career Pathway.
  • Recruit the future workforce through Dream It. Do It. Minnesota.
  • Increase the number of females gaining new and improved manufacturing skills.

“We are excited about this opportunity to continue to serve Minnesota and the broader regional manufacturing industry,” states Jeremy Leffelman, director of 360. “This grant helps 360 continue to build on its innovative programs and resources in order to address critical workforce needs and increase the quantity and quality of manufacturing technicians.”

In 2010, 360 received a National Science Foundation project grant to begin 360 eTECH. In 2012, 360 received their first National Science Foundation ATE grant. The newly awarded grant continues 360’s designation as an ATE Regional Center.

360 began in 2006 as an education and industry collaboration to recruit, educate and train workers for dynamic careers in manufacturing through the Minnesota State system.