The Manufacturing PA initiative recently awarded Pennsylvania State University Behrend campus in Erie County a $200,000 grant through Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing Training-to-Career program.
The program helps companies identify and train a skilled workforce through targeted programs and services.
Penn State Behrend plans to use the funding to implement an Industry 4.0 Center of Excellence, which will help regional manufacturers provide training to integrate Industry 4.0 methodology into their operations. Industry 4.0 focuses on digital manufacturing production enhanced by smart and autonomous systems using data and machine learning.
The center also will help regional manufacturers adopt new methods and technologies.
“Industry 4.0 is going to change the way Pennsylvania does business,” Michelle Hartmann, Penn State Behrend director of Community and Workforce Programs, said. “This funding for an Industry 4.0 Center of Excellence will position the Erie region at the forefront of a new era for manufacturing, with new efficiencies through the use of robotics, data analytics, and machine learning and new career paths that enable manufacturing workers to broaden their skills with these integrated technologies.”
Penn State Behrend and the center will work with Northwestern Pennsylvania manufacturers to implement robotics, analysis tools, and data-driven decision making; expand the qualified labor force; and increase the efficacy of production processes.