SUN Area Technical Institute (SUN-Tech) was recently awarded an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant in the amount of $85,088 for Mechatronics training equipment.

SUN-Tech, which serves Snyder, Union, and Northumberland County in Central PA recently added a Mechatronics Program to its list of course offerings.

There is a need for skilled and trained personnel in the Mechatronics field in the region. By adding a Mechatronics Program to SUN-Tech, and enhancing the program with industry standard equipment, students access to equipment and technology used in the field for Mechatronics training will translate into learned job skills to fill high priority positions in the region. These positions can earn $40,000 entry level, and $60,000 for experienced level, and are expected to see an increase in employment of around 8% by 2028.

The curriculum for this course will cover: Electrical Systems, National Electrical Code, Robotics, Circuits, Programmable Logic Controls, Electric Motor Controls, Pneumatics, Mechanical Power Transmissions, Fluid Power Systems, Troubleshooting and Repair. The program will be aligned to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Program of Study for CIP Code 15.0403 and state approved industry credentials and NOCTI Exam (#8094).

Jobs in the mechatronics field include a variety of occupations which include engineers, mechanical engineers, hydraulic specialist, pneumatic specialists, PLC troubleshooting, maintenance managers, maintenance technicians, industrial maintenance automation technical/manager, and plant managers.

SEDA-COG’s Betsy Lockwood, Director of Project Development and Grants, submitted the ARC application for the equipment on behalf of SUN-Tech. Regarding the benefits of the grant, Lockwood said, “Considering the rapidly growing field of Mechatronics, it was imperative that our area have access to the latest and most advanced equipment, curriculum, and training aids to expand and strengthen skill development and ensure long-term employment success in central PA. I am thrilled for the innovation opportunity this provides SUN-Tech and for the adult learners and recent high school graduates who will be able to take part in this program.”

“SUN-Tech appreciates the generosity of the Appalachian Regional Commission. Their willingness to assist in funding this initiative will help our graduates secure meaningful employment opportunities that are significantly above entry level. With the help of the ARC and SEDA-COG, our students will possess real-world problem-solving skills, desirable technical competencies and be cross trained in several disciplines. Putting some of the most advanced training equipment that is on the market in their hands will be a big part of that training,” said David Bacher, SUN-Tech Administrative Director.

The Appalachian Region Commission (ARC) is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments including Pennsylvania.  PA’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) partners with ARC to identify and support projects that will build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in the Appalachian counties of Pennsylvania to reach socioeconomic parity with the nation.

SEDA-COG is a community and economic development agency in Lewisburg and is one of seven Local Development Districts in Pennsylvania. SEDA-COG enhances the quality of life and economic advantage for residents and businesses in the 11 central Pennsylvania counties through its vital partnerships and initiatives.