Advanced Tech Center opens next semester

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By Megan Murphy

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Crowder College and the Joplin Chamber Foundation have worked together to provide a training center for students to work immediately after completing a certificate program. The Joplin Advanced Training and Tech Center (ATTC) is located in Joplin as a central location to Crowder’s main campuses.

“The City of Joplin and the Joplin Chamber foundation had some funds they were wanting to utilize to help Joplin restore after the tornado. They did a needs assessment and something that the community is lacking [is] people trained in advanced manufacturing and higher level welding because a lot of welding students leave the area to pursue other schools. We’re losing a lot of students to the competition,” said Melissa Smith, Director of Concurrent Enrollment and Regional Centers.

A variety of programs will be offered at the Joplin ATTC. The Computer Aided Drafting certificate, the Programmable Logic Controller certificate and the Information Technology certificate will be available as one semester certificate programs. The Advanced Welding certificate for pipe, plate, and fabrication welding will be a two semester course. According to Smith, there will also be community health program which, while not for credit, will allow students to work with area hospitals and nursing homes.

“It’s an accelerated certificate. Here at the Neosho campus, students would not be able to complete that quickly,” Smith said.

Classes at the Joplin ATTC will prepare students for the workforce through lots of hands on experience.  For example, the welding program will be five eight hour days each week. The other programs will have two eight hour days each week.

“It’s more intensive, [but] they will have a certificate and absolutely be employable,” Smith added.

Kerry Moore and Michael Heckman machining on a metal lathe in the Advanced Manufacturing class at the Dell Reed Technical Center.

Kerry Moore and Michael Heckman machining on a metal lathe in the Advanced Manufacturing class at the Dell Reed Technical Center.

Financial aid benefits will be offered to students who qualify, including scholarships and A+ program funds as well as federal aid. Anyone can enroll in classes at the Joplin ATTC, from current Crowder students to graduating high school seniors. There will also be the Workforce Innovation Board to help with students at the ATTC looking for career advice.

“We are really excited to get up there.  The anticipation is building; we are going to have some exciting things happen. We’ll have brand-new and enhanced equipment [that’s] a little more state-of-the-art,” said Andy Wilson, Advanced Manufacturing Technology instructor.

The Advanced Training and Tech Center is located at 420 Grand Avenue in Joplin. For more information, contact or call 417-455-5627.

The center will open August 21.