ECPI University Looks to Bridge Manufacturing Skills Gap

Charleston’s First Mechatronics Program Will Help Develop Skill Sets Unique to Advanced Manufacturing Environment

Charleston, SCMechatronics. It’s a name that many find unfamiliar but it encompasses a specific set of skills that many Charleston manufacturers say they urgently need. Simply put, mechatronics is a blend of all the professional disciplines used in today’s advanced manufacturing environment – computer information systems, electronic and mechanical engineering technology, and control systems.

The good news is that Charleston’s manufacturing sector is growing. The challenge for employers, however, is finding enough employees with the skills required to do the jobs. According to the SC Department of Commerce, South Carolina has recruited more than $19 billion in capital investment resulting in more than 64,000 new jobs in the manufacturing sector between 2008 and 2013.

In addition to these new jobs, other vacancies are occurring because many existing employees in this sector are expected to retire soon. According to census data, approximately 20% of South Carolina manufacturing employees are eligible for retirement in 5-10 years.

“The employers spoke and we listened,” says ECPI University Charleston Campus President James Weaver. “We engaged all the region’s major manufacturers in a discussion. They all agree that Charleston needs a mechatronics program. A student with this kind of degree can be ideally suited to work in today’s highly-technical manufacturing environment.  Gone are the days of hot, dirty factories filled with unskilled manual laborers. They’ve been replaced with robots, computers, and programmable logic controllers. Skilled professionals are needed to manage all that.”

ECPI University’s Bachelor of Science Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology with a concentration in Mechatronics will focus on core areas such as:

  • Applied Mechanics
  • Programmable Controllers
  • Hydraulics and Pneumatics
  • Testing and Measuring Instruments
  • Computer Hardware and Software
  • Materials Science
  • Analog/Digital Electronics and Communications
  • Automation and Control Systems
  • Computer Programming Networks
  • Microcontrollers

For more information or to schedule a campus visit, contact Charleston Campus President James Weaver at 843.414.0350 or jweaver@ecpi.edu. To learn more about ECPI University, please visit www.ecpi.edu.

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