NC3 Recognizes PHCC as an NC3 & Festo Center of Excellence

Patrick Henry Community College has been recognized by the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) and Festo Didactic, as a NC3 and Festo Center of Excellence in the Advanced Manufacturing Industry 4.0 sector.

Festo Didactic is a global leader in manufacturing and automation. NC3 is a hub for manufacturing and automation training and credentialing. To be recognized as a Festo Didactic NC3 Center of Excellence, an institution must be considered a leader and innovator in technical training and must be driving the future of career and technical education and workforce development. This week, NC3 and Festo Didactic honored Patrick Henry Community College with this distinction – naming the college an Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence.

PHCC leads industry training and credentialing in three ways: instructor expertise, student attainment, and industry partnerships. PHCC’s advanced manufacturing instructors have been instrumental in developing the latest curriculum for the NC3/Festo certification programs. PHCC’s students have also been leading the nation as some of the first students in America to earn NC3’s latest Industry 4.0 certifications. From the inception of the program, PHCC has partnered with local employers in the industry to ensure students will be training to fill the positions employers need. In these three ways, PHCC’s program has become a benchmark for schools all over the nation.

From NC3’s perspective, “We could not be more thrilled to have Patrick Henry Community College as an Advanced Manufacturing Industry 4.0 Center of Excellence. The energy and vision that PHCC embodies will add substantially to the trajectory of education and industry workforce leaders in Virginia and across the nation to truly make a difference in the growing need of Smart Factories,” said Dan Ramirez, Associate Director, NC3.

Octavio Rojas, National Education Partnership Director, Festo Didactic also agrees, “We are proud to partner with Patrick Henry Community College to provide the skills and education needed for today’s Advanced Manufacturing environment. Both students and industry benefit when the right school, the right instructors, the right certification and the right learning platforms are implemented in the community to provide training and workforce development. These programs have been established here and we are pleased to include PHCC as one of our national Centers of Excellence for their state-of- the-art manufacturing lab.”

This semester, six of PHCC’s students were among the first in the nation to earn the new Certified Industry 4.0 Associate credential. Despite changes in class delivery caused by the pandemic, PHCC issued more than 250 NC3 credentials in spring 2020. Since the program’s inception in 2018, PHCC has issued a total of 735 NC3 credentials.


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