“The new design of this building is intended to give students the look and feel of today’s industrial manufacturing environment,” said Carl Hite, CSCC president. “The high bay provides visual access to all of the building’s systems so that students can identify and trace major component parts.”
Hite said the floor space of the building will be separated into three work cells.
“The first cell addresses basic robotics and terminology. The second cell integrates computer design with computer numerically controlled fabricated machines,” Hite said. “In the third cell, the fabricated parts are loaded into an assembly system. Students will be able to see the entire process from beginning to end.”
Special guests at the event included members of the Board of Regents, County Mayor D. Gary Davis, Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland, State Sen. Mike Bell, State Rep. Kevin Brooks, and a little robot named Nao.
Nao is a robot engineered by Aldebaran-Robotics. The small robot kicked off the event with music, a dance, and a short speech to the delight of the crowd. Brooks commented on the performance.
“It was exactly like what our friend Nao the robot said, this is what employers are going to be looking for in the future. We have Wacker right here in Bradley County and Volkswagen right down the road,” Brooks said. “The future of technology, I believe, is technology. ... I am thrilled by everything I have seen.”
Hite said the entire project costs $2.3 million.
“Basically half of this went to the renovation of the technology building, which was overdue, and the building of this fine facility,” Hite said. “The other half is, of course, going to the equipment.”
The new facility is designed to allow manufacturers to wheel their equipment into the site. Students will then be able to utilize the new technology.
“I really think we are addressing the issues the governor has addressed for us, which are higher education and workforce development,” Hite said.
Konrad Bachhuber, vice president and site manager at Wacker, took the microphone following Hite.
“At Wacker we recognize the future leaders and employees are shaped and created by the education of the environment today,” Bachhuber said. “That is the reason why we committed $150,000 to show our support for this project.”
“This positive step toward the development of a competitive and successful workforce is key for economic development, because the talents attract industry.”
According to Bachhuber, these are some of the reasons Wacker decided to build its new polysilicon site in Bradley County.
“It will be a $1.8 billion dollar investment. We not only invest in the plants, but we also invest in the people who run, operate, maintain, and repair these plants ... this drive for continued improvement is one of the success factors of Wacker.”
“I can tell you one of the key factors for Wacker to come here were the work ethic and the talent pool in the Tennessee Valley.”
Rowland attended the groundbreaking for the business development center at Cleveland State several years ago. He said the ribbon cutting lived up to the type of automated genius he has come to expect from the college.
“Cleveland State is on a trend now of LEED buildings, green buildings, and clean energy,” Rowland said. “It says a lot for the college and because of that, they are going to attract a lot of new innovations here, both in clients and buildings here at the school.”