NCC Held Grand Opening of Advanced Manufacturing Center

Northwest Iowa Community College celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the Advanced Manufacturing Center on November 13, 2019. This newly remodeled space is approximately 15,000 square feet that includes the Welding Lab, Idea Lab, Manufacturing Lab, CAD Lab and classrooms.

Steve Waldstein, Dean of Applied Technology, explained, “The Welding Lab, which was originally located in Building D, was moved to its current Building C location to create a more strategic learning space for NCC’s Manufacturing Programs. The programs are all symbiotic, contributing to a great collaborative manufacturing educational workspace.” Waldstein continued, “The Welding, Advanced Welding Technology, Engineering Design, and Design Technology programs all build upon one another, so it makes sense to have them located by each other.”

Robert Hoting, Welding Instructor, explained some of the benefits to the new lab. “The LED lighting in the shop is phenomenal. There are no areas that are dark and difficult to view. In the old lab we only had 20 welding stations with very little room for projects. This lab has 30 welding stations and a large area for projects and fabrication. The program space went from about 2,800 square feet of work area to over 6,000 square feet; the lab area is very spacious. We now have room to build projects without falling over one another.”

The Idea Lab is a new educational space that is a STEM-based interactive lab. Obvious programs like Engineering Design, Design Technology, Industrial Instrumentation & Control, and the Electrical programs will frequently use the lab. However, all programs of the College plan to utilize the lab, including those in the health field. There is also excitement about integrating even more hands-on learning into the curriculum of the Associate of Arts classes (math/physics). The Idea Lab includes a SIM Lab, CNC laser, CNC router, waterjet, 3D printers, injection molder, plotter, wind tunnel, MAGLEV, structure testing, robots and Virtual Reality.

Other benefits of the enhanced learning environment are the expansion of camps utilizing the Idea Lab for STEM activities and the addition of numerous custom workforce training opportunities for area business and industry partners.

NCC’s Workforce & Economic Development division of the college is using the Manufacturing Center for customized training for area business partners. Jason Anderson, Director—Workforce & Economic Development, said, “We are happy to provide contract training in the areas of Machining, Machine Tool Technology and CNC that is designed to meet long-term and short-term training needs of our partners. Courses can be tailored to meet a business’s individual requirements. The intended audience could consist of managers, engineers, office professionals, skilled trades, production operators and maintenance personnel. The new Manufacturing Center opens up a wide variety of possibilities.”

For more information about contract training, contact Jason Anderson at 712-324-5061, ext. 194 or email