July 22, 2011


State Board Approves Northeast Purchase of Technology Equipment

The Alabama State Board of Education recently approved the request by Northeast Alabama Community College to purchase more technology equipment for the college’s Industrial Systems Technology (IST) Center. As a result of this decision, Northeast will use up to $280,000 to purchase a coordinate measuring machine, orbital welding equipment, and expand the Center’s programmable logic control laboratory. This equipment is in addition to the state-of-the-art equipment that is already in the IST facility.

“The funding for this purchase came through a grant from Congressman Robert Adherholt,” stated Dr. David Campbell, NACC President. “We are very appreciative to Congressman Adherholt for this. He saw clearly how this equipment would be used to help train and retrain workers in the technology fields that are so much a part of today’s workforce.” The grant from Congressman Aderholt (AL-04) was through the United States Small Business Administration. The total grant was for $330,000 with a portion reserved for IST start-up and salary costs.

The college’s IST facility houses programs in welding technology, machine tool technology, industrial maintenance, and engineering technology. In furnishing the Center to date, the college has received and utilized grants for equipment from the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, the Alabama Technology Network, and a donation of robotic equipment from a local industry (G. H. Metal Solutions in Fort Payne). “With this support, and the use of our own funds, we think we have an outstanding training facility,” Campbell noted. Campbell added that having a facility like IST is not only important in training and retraining workers, but it also serves in helping recruit industry into the area. “Before locating in an area, industry leaders want to know the existing and potential skill level of the workforce,” Campbell stated. “With the IST facility we can certainly help meet the needs that an industry might have.”

Campbell added that the college’s workforce development staff, led by Dr. Mike Kennamer, works closely with local industry to determine the exact type of training equipment that is needed. Decisions on what to purchase are made with input from local industry. “Our staff does a great job working with local industry, identifying needs, and then following through with projects,” Campbell said.

The IST facility opened in the fall of 2008. Since that time, the welding program alone has served more than 200 students. Fall Registration at Northeast will be held August 17-18, 2011, on the Northeast campus. Students may register for the IST or other programs and the college’s extensive academic transfer courses on those dates.

For information about the IST programs, contact the college’s Workforce Development Office at or phone college extension. 254. For information about Northeast call college extension 222.