NIMS Awards National Accreditation to Arizona Advanced Manufacturing Institute

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NIMS award makes Manufacturing Technology Program third in state to achieve this national distinction.

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Pursuit of the NIMS certification resulted in a highly collaborative process that inspired continuous improvement in our advanced manufacturing programs benefiting our students, staff and ultimately our industry partnerships.

Mesa Community College has set a new height in the thirty-six year history of its Manufacturing Technology program, a vital component of the Arizona Advanced Manufacturing Institute (AzAMI) at the college. As of December 10, 2015 the program received NIMS Accreditation, the highest benchmark for metalworking training in the United States as based on national, industry- written and industry-driven skills standards.

As a nationally accredited program the institute demonstrates its commitment to providing industry-level training for the Mesa community, the state of Arizona, and for the greater U.S. Manufacturing Industry. In doing so college staff and faculty have met the stringent quality requirements set forth by NIMS, which include a program self-audit, the certifying of faculty and students in NIMS national, industry credentials, and an intensive two-day on-site evaluation at the center.

The on-site evaluation occurred in fall 2015 and was conducted by NIMS Lead Evaluator Mark Lashinske (Modern Industries, Inc.) who was assisted by Education Representative Chris Williams (Tucson High Magnet School) and Industry Representative Mark Reish (Modern Industries, Inc.).

After a comprehensive facility inspection, observation of student safety habits and a series of in-depth interviews with faculty, administrators, and local employers, the team was highly impressed and issued above-average ratings in the evaluation areas of:

  • Purpose
  • Facility
  • Program Features
  • Equipment, Tooling, & Measuring Devices
  • Administration
  • Faculty & Instructional Staff

Upon receiving the distinction, college personnel Sandy Lindauer, Joe Martinez, Leah Palmer, and Kevin Weaver commented that "for us accreditation conveys an important message about the quality of our advanced manufacturing programs to students, industry and other academic institutions by validating a certified skilled and trained workforce. More importantly, it allows for a pathway of continuous improvement for the program by bringing together industry partners, faculty and community leaders via the advisory committee, who can work together to align course curriculum and industry certifications with industry demands."

This accreditation is based on NIMS National Skill Standards for Machining Level I and Level II with a focus on the manual and computer numerical control (CNC) machining skills and allows students to pursue any and all credentials offered by NIMS.

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Catherine Ross
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