Clark College Receives $1.5 million to equip new Advanced Manufacturing Center

Clark College received a $1.5 million federal earmark to equip its new Advanced Manufacturing Center in Ridgefield. The earmark was contained in the $1.6 trillion omnibus spending bill Congress approved, according to Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell who announced the award.

“We are grateful for the work of Sen. Cantwell and other members of the Washington delegation for securing this important funding,” Clark College President Karin Edwards said. “This enhances the college’s ability to move forward with the center’s critical mission of training a new generation of workers who must be fluent in technology.”

The $1.5 million will enable Clark College to acquire technology and equipment used to train students for careers in subtractive manufacturing, additive manufacturing, robotics, clean energy and material science at its Boschma Farms campus in Ridgefield. Equipment funding is expected to be available in line with groundbreaking on the center this summer.

Students will learn how to operate machine tools such as Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) lathes and waterjet cutters as well 3D printers, welding equipment, programmable software and mobile robotic weld carts.

Clean energy technicians will be trained to work in solar, wind, hydroelectric and emerging clean energy technologies. The center also will offer classes for general education and running start high school students.

Congressionally direct spending, commonly called earmarks, was reintroduced last year after a 10-year hiatus following adoption of bipartisan reforms to improve transparency of requests and fairness in awards.

Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.

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