Brawn to Brains: Skills are the Future of Manufacturing

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Take a walk around almost any modern manufacturing facility and you’ll see a very different work environment than you might expect. You’ll find a clean, well-lit facility that is focused on safety, precision and efficient productivity. They are gleaming showrooms of the latest technologies.

And they are staffed by highly-skilled and well-educated professionals producing exciting breakthroughs, such as advances in robotics, automation and 3D printing.

manBecause of the increasingly sophisticated technologies and processes it employs, U.S. manufacturing increasingly relies on a more educated workforce. Along with being increasingly high-tech, manufacturing jobs are also among the highest-paying, offering a 17-percent premium in compensation over non-manufacturing jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Today’s factory workers have strong technical and analytical skills and are just as likely to carry an iPad as a wrench,” says Wayne Merrell, Department of Labor Grant Director for Eastern Iowa Community Colleges. “If you get satisfaction by making something, get excited about using new technology, or you work well with teams of people, then the manufacturing industry may be the place for you.”

Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) has a range of Advanced Manufacturing-based programs and a history of providing relevant, quality training skills to area residents. With state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing facilities located in Clinton, Maquoketa, Muscatine and Davenport, EICC offers hands-on training in the disciplines most in demand by area companies.

Explore Careers in Advanced Manufacturing

Almost all jobs in Advanced Manufacturing – even those at an entry level – require post-high school training and some level of college credential. EICC provides individuals with specialized career training that’s relevant to industry. Our learning environments, labs and instructors are focused on ‘real-world’, hands-on career preparation. EICC can provide the connections you need to build your successful future. Here and on the next page is information on the Advanced Manufacturing-related programs currently available at our colleges. In addition to two year Associate’s Degrees, the programs offer shorter term credentials and certificates as well:

Engineering Technology

Engineering Technology includes a core group of courses that builds to areas of specialization in Automation, Electro/Mechanical, Process Control and Renewable Energy.

Mechanical Design

Mechanical Design Technicians assist engineers in design and development work by preparing detailed drawings showing exact dimensions and specifications. Most drawings are prepared on the computer (CAD system).


Logistics and supply chain management graduates will work in the logistics field incorporating such tasks as transportation, warehousing, inventory control, purchasing, scheduling, safety, management, electronic data interchange (RFID – Radio Frequency Identification, GIS – Geographic Information Systems), order processing, traffic management, security, packaging, and location site analysis.

CNC Machining (Computer Numerical Control)

Machinists and tool and die makers set up and operate a variety of computer-controlled and mechanically-controlled machine tools to produce precision metal parts, instruments, and tools.


Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers weld or join metal parts. They also fill holes, indentations, or seams of metal products, using hand-held metal joining equipment. EICC offers a range of industrial welding techniques: ARC, MIG, TIG core wire, gas.

So What Does All This Mean to You?

Eastern Iowa Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing programs can help put you in a stronger position for a more successful employment future.

We can get you on your way to a four year degree through our well established transfer programs, fulfill your goal of an Associate’s degree or get you on the fast track for a career with our short term skills training programs.

Many of our Advanced Manufacturing programs are offered in an 8 week format that allows you to focus on fewer classes at one time, blending in-class time with online lessons and hands-on lab time. Classes/lab time are offered days and evenings so even if you’re working full time, you CAN complete our programs.


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