Today, Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education voted for budget recommendations that ranked OTC’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) as its number one capital funding priority for Fiscal Year 2020. The recommendation for $5 million of state funds to go toward the CAM was part of CBHE’s overall budget request of $55.8 million for workforce initiatives across the state.
“This is the first step in the process,” said OTC Chancellor Hal Higdon. “OTC is grateful that the Coordinating Board sees the value of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing to our state’s economy. The next step is consideration by the governor and legislature. We look forward to having those conversations.”
When voters passed two property tax levies in April 2018 to fund OTC, one of the promises OTC made to voters was the construction of a Center for Advanced Manufacturing at the OTC Springfield Campus. The college plans to open the Center for Advanced Manufacturing in the fall of 2022.
OTC officials have visited advanced manufacturing educational facilities around the country to learn about best practices and incorporate those into Springfield’s CAM. More trips are in the works for 2019. OTC plans to offer education in subjects such as robotics, mechatronics and 3D printing. Besides courses and education designed for degree-seeking students, the CAM will offer continuing education for people already working in the manufacturing field. Plus, there are plans for the facility to allow companies to conduct research and testing of new equipment and processes.