DCED Tour Campus, Learn of Impact on Regional Industry
September 23, 2013
DuBOIS – Representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of
Community and Economic Development (DCED) visited Penn State DuBois on Friday
to learn more about engineering programs that are offered, and to tour the
campus engineering facilities. The DCED
supports engineering programs at Penn State DuBois through an annual grant that
funds equipment and material purchases, and other costs. The visit was part of
the thee-day DCED On the Road tour
through the North Central Pennsylvania Region.
The DCED On the Road initiative
has given state economic development experts a firsthand look at efforts taking
place throughout the region that support industry and the economy. In a statement about the initiative DCED
Secretary C. Alan Walker said, "The purpose of our three-day visit to the
troops on the ground is to get the pulse of our partners in the field, to
celebrate your successes and to learn how we can work together with you to be
even more successful."
During their visit to Penn State DuBois, representatives of
the DCED learned about the direct support that campus engineering programs
provide to the regional powder metal (PM) industry. Professionals in the PM industry manufacture
components for everything from automobiles to home appliances. Assistant
Professor of Materials Engineering Craig Stringer offered a detailed
presentation on two and four-year degree programs in engineering that are
offered at the campus. He also explained
the close relationships that the programs have with PM companies and the
benefits that both parties enjoy.
"Industry relationships are turning into jobs for our
students," Stringer said. "We
have four to six students who plan to graduate this coming spring who have jobs
lined up or have job offers already."
Stringer explained that he and his students provide research
and development services for area companies, and often collaborate with those
companies on special projects. Those
projects prepare the students for the real-world and afford them opportunities
to network within the industry. Stringer said, "The companies benefit from
having projects completed, and we benefit from having our students get
real-world, hands-on experience, and landing jobs."
Additionally, Penn State DuBois makes labs and equipment
available for employees of area companies to use in their own projects and
Stringer also highlighted the thriving job market in the PM
industry, underscoring the demand for skilled workers and the promising odds
for success a new engineering graduate can have.
"There have been 50-plus jobs recently advertised in
the papers in this region that require the skills that our students graduate
with. We graduate about 12 students a
year. That's a good ratio for those
DCED Manufacturing and Life Sciences Ombudsman Tom Palisin
was among those who took in the campus tour and presentation. He remarked that the DCED has supported Penn
State DuBois engineering programs for around 15 years. He said this visit proves their support is
"The powder metal industry is critical to the region,
and the DCED has done well by investing in this school, which really caters to
that industry," Palisin said. "The job market in the industry is good, and these programs help to
train people for these jobs; it's all very good for the region."
Photo: Penn State DuBois Assistant Professor of Materials
Engineering Craig Stringer explains the functions of the 3-D printer to his
left during the DCED tour of campus engineering facilities.