Calhoun Community College Student Team Wins First Place in Manufacturing Challenge CompetitionMay 8, 2019
Decatur, AL – A three-student team from Calhoun Community College won first place honors during the Project MFG- Next Generation Manufacturing Challenge Competition held recently at Auburn University.
Calhoun students Andrew Adams, George Cassimus and Cody Kirkland comprised the winning team. As the winning team, each student received a $1500 scholarship, with a $5000 prize going to the college. Calhoun faculty members Matt Jones (welding), Tad Montgomery (machine tool technology), and Larry Owens (machine tool technology) served as team instructors/mentors.
The competition is a pilot project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense based on the design, manufacturing, assembly and testing of equipment by participating teams. The manufacturing competencies highlighted in this competition are intertwined with the modern workforce and reflect the need for employees to be cross-trained in multiple areas to meet evolving business needs. The Department of Defense selected Alabama as a competition state with Auburn University’s SAAV Manufacturing Center as the coordinating entity to bring about the five-axis machining skills competition that includes teams from across the state.
The Challenge is a series of event-based competitive skills challenges in which teams will compete in 5-axis machining and welding skills. The Department of Defense Project MFG announced the launch of the Next Generation Manufacturing Challenge to address the number one crisis facing the US manufacturing industry – a critical shortage of skilled workers. American companies are expected to be short 2.4 million skilled workers over the next 10 years, unless the industry is able to attract young people to replace an aging workforce in which 2.7 million manufacturing professionals are preparing to retire.
“We are extremely proud of our students and their outstanding performance in this highly advanced manufacturing competition,” commented Calhoun Interim President Dr. Joe Burke.
In addition to Calhoun, the 2019 competition involved teams representing Southern Union State Community College, Central Alabama Community College and Wallace State Hanceville Community College. As the first place team, Calhoun will vie for the opportunity to compete against the winners from Louisiana and Mississippi this fall. The southern states’ winner will then move on to compete in the national competition in 2020.