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Clackamas Community College will host activities all day on National Manufacturing Day on Oct. 5; community is invited to the grand opening, which begins at 4 p.m.

Clackamas Community College is challenging people to rethink the fields of manufacturing and machining. Once thought of as hard-labor jobs in dirty workshops, the college is flipping the ideology of the industry with the grand opening of its new Industrial Technology Center on the Oregon City campus.

Clackamas Community College opened the doors of its new Industrial Technology Center to students on the first day of fall term, Sept. 24.The 44,424-square-foot facility is the new home of the college's manufacturing, computer numerical control (CNC) machining, and renewable energy programs, along with other in-demand career technical education programs. The ITC will increase access to affordable education programs, allowing students to train for family-wage jobs or transfer to four-year universities.

The facility features expansive manual and CNC lab space, a maker space/flex lab, partner space, state-of-the-art machine tool technology, a large renewable energy outdoor field lab and indoor/outdoor event space.

"This is not your grandfather's workshop," said Cynthia Risan, dean of technology for applied science and public services. "Our students learn from industry-knowledgeable instructors on modern equipment in a state-of-the-art facility."

Students who complete a certificate or degree in manufacturing have a quick path to middle-income jobs. According to WorkSource, the average manufacturing wage is $44,650 a year. The field currently has 94,110 jobs with the prediction of another 26,315 new jobs by 2025.

"The demand for employees in machining, welding and renewable energy is extremely high right now," said Mike Mattson, chair of the college's manufacturing technology department. "Employers are at our door seeking qualified employees. Our employment rates are essentially 100 percent."

For those ages 17-19, Clackamas Community College offers the TechHire grant to provide internship and work experience placement, education opportunities in manufacturing and related industries, career readiness training and student advising. Visit clackamas.edu/TechHire for more information.

To celebrate the completion of the ITC, the college will host activities all day on National Manufacturing Day on Oct. 5. In the morning, high school students from neighboring school districts will tour the facility, see demonstrations and learn about career possibilities. In the afternoon, the college is hosting a vendor fair, and will complete the day with a grand-opening event.

The community is invited to the grand opening, which begins at 4 p.m. There will be a short program, plaque dedication and ribbon cutting. Following the program, participants will enjoy refreshments, see machine demonstrations, and go on tours of the building. The college is located at 19600 Molalla Ave., Oregon City.

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