New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) recently collaborated with General Dynamics Electric Boat (EB), which designs and builds nuclear submarines for the United States Navy to train five of its employees in robotic welding. The 120-hour program was sponsored by the state’s Real Jobs RI initiative.
Real Jobs RI is a demand-driven workforce and economic development initiative that is collaborative, flexible and business-led, designed to ensure that Rhode Island employers have the talent they need to compete and grow while providing targeted education and skills training for Rhode Island workers.
This training program was the first Electric Boat Real Jobs RI-sponsored robotic welding training where incumbent EB employees were identified and New England Tech developed and provided enhanced training.
Participants were exposed to the basics of automation and practical lab operations utilizing NEIT’s Fanuc robots and the WolfPac welding robot. The WolfPac is the same robotic welding system used at EB’s Quonset facility.
The course was a collaborative effort developed and taught by a team of instructors from NEIT with on-site technical assistance provided by Electric Boat supervisors from its Quonset, R.I. Robotic Welding division. Fred Santaniello, Director of Workforce Development Grants and Programs at New England Tech’s Center for Technology and Industry, coordinated the robotic welding program development and delivery. Dean Plowman, Department Chair of NEIT’s Mechanical Engineering (MCT) Department, supervised the instructional effort with classes taught by MCT instructors Dave Turner and Mike Eggeman as well as Matt Topper, Coordinator of the SAMI welding program. Electric Boat staff members provided excellent technical assistance to both the instructors and students throughout the training. EB employees each earned seven college credits upon completion of the five-week, full-time program.
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