Mercer CCC advanced manufacturing program is 1st in N.J. to gain national accreditation

Mercer County Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Program is designed to prepare students for the modern manufacturing environment.

Certificates of proficiency in the industry are highly attractive to employers who implement team-oriented design, production quality and maintenance systems within the manufacturing environment.

Those certificates just got a little more valuable.

The program recently received national accreditation by the National Institute of Metalworking Skills — becoming the first institution in the state to receive the accredited certification in the nation’s precision manufacturing industry.

NIMS accreditation is the nation’s only distinction for excellence in metalworking training as based on NIMS industry-written, industry-approved skills standards. Accredited programs demonstrate the ability to produce skilled, work-ready individuals that fulfill industry’s 21st century workforce needs.

Program Director Michael Hanna said the distinction should be celebrated.

“NIMS accreditation is a mark of excellence for Mercer,” he said. “Earning this distinction in manufacturing, training and safety has established Mercer as the premier provider of Advanced Manufacturing Technology training programs in the state of New Jersey.”

Hanna has been working toward the accreditation since he came to the school in 2018, revamping its curriculum.

The board reviewed the classes — then put students in the program through rigorous testing. A theory test must be passed, as well as a hands-on test where actual parts are created and then inspected by a third party. The last step of accreditation was an onsite evaluation of the MCCC advanced manufacturing lab by two independent companies. It was a complete safety inspection.

Hanna feels the students in the program — and their potential employers — are the big winners.

“Students who take advantage of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Program at MCCC will now have the opportunity to earn a NIMS credential, which secures a competitive edge when applying for jobs, as they have demonstrated that their skills meet the established industry standards both on the practical side of advanced manufacturing as well as the theory side,” he said.

Interested students may choose a full two-year degree program or individual certifications. For more information, click here.