Monday, the Alabama Community College System and the Von Braun Center for Science and Innovation’s University Consortium announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that fosters the advancement of programs which center on a number of emerging technologies.
The ACCS is the first community college system to participate in the multi-state consortium.
The MOU is designed to create the opportunity to partner, collaborate, and manage projects that expand programs relevant to aerospace and defense communities. The memorandum mirrors existing agreements between VCSI-UC and four-year institutions in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
ACCS participation in the consortium brings the total number of colleges in the group to 40.
Chris Crumbly is the Executive Director of VCSI.
Crumbly said that a core effort of the ACCS partnership will be to create a new curriculum for a system engineering technology degree that would strengthen students’ competency within aerospace, automotive manufacturing, maritime, digital transformation, and engineering technology.
Director Crumbly said that the degree would combine and add to some of the current community college course offerings in computer science, advanced manufacturing, and engineering technology in order to train students in systems engineering modeling.
In addition, Vizitech technology, in partnership with VCSI, maximizes training in 3D technology, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) learning programs, and is projected to increase students’ competency in their careers.
“We are very excited to welcome ACCS into the VCSI-University Consortium,” Crumbly said. “Our partnership adds more opportunities to combine innovative research with the exceptional workforce development training occurring at our community colleges in Alabama.”
The Alabama Community College System Chancellor is Jimmy Baker. He noted the opportune timing for the partnership.
“Alabama’s economic growth is a prime advantage for partnerships such as this to gain traction as a model for what an excellent workforce will look like locally, statewide and worldwide for years to come,” Baker stated.
Jeff Lynn is the Alabama Community College System Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development.
Lynn said that the consortium is bound to elevate workforce development in the state.
“This is a prime opportunity to partner with the consortium and share our work and research related to programs in advanced manufacturing,” Lynn said.
Economic developer Nicole Jones told the Alabama Political Reporter, “The Von Braun Center for Science and Innovation (VSCI)’s model combines the work of brilliant thought leaders in academia, industry, and other subject matter experts to advance space and defense technology for organizations such as NASA and the Department of Defense (DoD).”
Economic developer Nicole Jones shared, “The participation of the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) in the Von Braun Center for Science and Innovation’s University Consortium reaffirms our state’s willingness to collaborate and train a workforce that can perform well in high-demand careers centered upon constant technological advancements. This workforce development initiative will aid in research and development and will also help cultivate the skills desired by employers in dominant industries in Alabama such as aerospace, defense, and advanced manufacturing.”