15Apr Marion Technical College Joins Smart Automation Certification Alliance by Wendy Weichenthal (Marion) Marion Technical College is proud to announce that it is joining the Smart Automation Certification Alliance (SACA). This new membership, generously funded by Buckeye Educational Systems, benefits students by helping instructors stay atop the latest developments in smart manufacturing and allowing Marion Tech the opportunity to award certifications to students. Dr. Ryan McCall “Marion Tech is proud to become a member of SACA,” said Dr. Ryan McCall, president of Marion Tech. “This will help us prepare our students to gain cutting edge manufacturing certifications and meet the demand for these skills from local employers.”The new SACA membership is a part of Marion Tech’s Smart Manufacturing program started after winning a National Science Foundation grant. Smart manufacturing certifications and degrees are in high demand. This trend, called Industry 4.0, provides more communication, diagnostics, and self-monitoring to keep manufacturing lines going and prevent problems before parts fail or machines break and prevent lines from stopping. Dean Debbie Stark “If you are looking to stay competitive, this new Smart Manufacturing program offers great opportunities to be at the forefront of this industrial revolution,” said Dean Debbie Stark. “We are excited about what our students will be able to learn with this new equipment and pathways.” Marion Tech would like to thank Buckeye Educational Systems for sponsoring Marion Tech’s first year of membership in SACA. This group distributed the new equipment purchased for the Smart Manufacturing program. Classes in the new Electrical Engineering Technology – Smart Manufacturing Option begin this fall with new labs and equipment. Students will be able to get micro-credentials for process control and cyber security. Other micro-credentials will be added as the program gets underway. Pending approval, a full Smart Manufacturing associate degree and two certificate programs will be added in August 2022.