New program in Mechatronics prepares graduates for innovative manufacturing jobs

A Shoreline student guides a robotic arm programmed to draw the Seattle skyscape and write visitors’ initials at the Spring 2017 CNC Machining open house event.

A new two-year program in Mechatronics is now available through the Advanced Manufacturing Technology department at Shoreline. Mechatronics technicians integrate knowledge of machines, electronics, and control systems to analyze and problem-solve 21st-century manufacturing systems. Technicians require professional training in industrial automation technology, combining the fields of machine maintenance, electronics, and robotics.

The Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences (AAAS) degree in Mechatronics prepares students for immediate employment and career advancement in companies that manufacture, service, sell, design, or support electro-mechanical systems that control machinery, automation, and/or processes. This new degree is offered jointly with Shoreline Community College and North Seattle College.

“The manufacturing industry is undergoing rapid metamorphosis,” said Lauren Hadley, Acting Director of Manufacturing at Shoreline. “As robotics booms and automation becomes more prevalent, today’s jobs are about learning to manage those automated systems and to really merge the technology with the labor.”

“We’ve long been a leader in getting students workforce-ready in machining and manufacturing,” said Hadley. “Partnering our expertise in machine maintenance with North Seattle Colleges’ expertise in electronics was the perfect way to meet the demand for this degree with programs already in place without duplicating programs.” Industry analysts estimate there are currently 3.5 million mechatronics jobs currently left unfilled in the U.S.

“Local employers are knocking down our door looking for highly trained technicians,” said Hadley. “They can’t get their open positions filled fast enough. To meet that need, we took a lot of care developing this degree to ensure graduates’ skills really align to industry demands so that our students can find employment in high-paying positions right out the door.”

The program includes certificates in Robotics, Basic Manufacturing, and Preventative Machine Maintenance at Shoreline Community College and Controls and Electronics at North Seattle College.

“We’re very excited to be offering this degree to our students,” said Hadley. “It demonstrates our continued commitment to keeping up with current employment trends and to quickly develop training in fields that will result in high-earning careers for our students.”

A recent KIRO 7 news story featured this new program at Shoreline and the increasing demand in the local job market for skills in advanced manufacturing technology.

Learn more about Mechatronics at Shoreline or contact Wanda Waldrop at wwaldrop@shoreline.edu or 206-533-6679. 

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