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PCC's Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center in Scappoose hopes for more complete opening in fall 2021

SCOTT KEITH - Construction at OMIC Training Center in ScappooseWith an eye toward adhering to safety protocols related to the coronavirus pandemic, construction crews continue to ready Portland Community College's Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center in Scappoose.

The 32,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing training center, which is being built across the street from OMIC's research-and-development facility, "is designed to support industry partnerships, simulate an advanced manufacturing environment and provide flexible, adaptive learning spaces to train and inspire students for the jobs available today and to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow," explained Andrew Lattanner, OMIC training director.

Several programs will be offered at the facility, including pre-apprenticeship and pre-trades programs.

"We focus on advanced manufacturing disciplines like welding, machining and mechatronics," Lattanner said.

As of the end of October, an exact completion and opening date for the training center has not been announced. PCC is hoping for a soft opening in spring.

"Construction remains on track, but obviously we're all operating with (the pandemic), which has its own less predictable timeline," Lattanner said. "We're planning for a soft opening in spring of 2021, but obviously, that will be contingent on the college's guidelines for reopening. We certainly want to make sure we're opening in a safe, healthy manner for our faculty, staff, students and even in the community."

Lattanner said plans are for a more complete opening next fall.

Funding for the training center comes from bond funds and the college. "We're moving along, on schedule, on plan, with the big caveat of coronavirus," Lattanner said.

The exact number of staff and students has yet to be announced.

"In terms of instructors, that will obviously be dependent on the rollout," Lattanner said. "We will certainly be expanding our course offerings as we roll out. We're in that process, planning right now."

He continued, "For students, we're in the same position. In the spring, I anticipate it will be a soft opening, so we'll be looking at those programs that we can offer — if we are able to offer them — face-to-face. And, obviously, coronavirus, and the health and safety guidelines, will determine what that looks like."

When it officially opens, PCC officials say the center will offer a large offering for the community, largely focusing on advanced manufacturing programs — but also, according to Lattanner, "looking for ways to make sure that the community has access to programs to pursue educational opportunities whether it be manufacturing-related or other programs that PCC offers throughout the district."

Speaking of facility and student goals, Lattanner said, "Our goal is really to create on-ramps and pathways into this programming throughout an individual's education and career — we'll also be serving job-seekers and folks in the community who are interested in pursuing careers in advanced manufacturing."


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