Investing in the future is important at Mid-America Science Park. The community and public had an opportunity to see that investment, first-hand, at two open houses earlier this week.
At the two open houses this week, the members of the community, education, businesses, and industry leaders, and general public had a chance to see what MASP has to offer in its 112,000-square-feet facility on South Lake Road in Scottsburg.
In the last year, the City of Scottsburg invested $350,000 in new training equipment for high school, incumbent workers, and unemployed adults to update their skills, said Dr. Joe Pearson, executive director at MASP. The training opportunities available at MASP are focused on preparing workers for the technology and skills used in the workforce today and in the future.
The investment made at MASP helps students, employees, and adult learners prepare for the workforce at area businesses and manufacturers. It also allows businesses and manufacturers the space and the equipment to train employees on the latest and future technologies. In 2018, a regional alliance of manufacturers in the region will lead a 15-week program to help train employees.
“We are a facilitator and location for training for future needs,” Pearson said.
To provide for those future needs, MASP features several cutting-edge pieces of training equipment, including a Forklift-Simulator that allows users to operate a piece of machinery that typically requires a certification to use on the job site while posing no risk to themselves or others around them. Users sit in the simulator while wearing a virtual reality headset to maneuver the forklift.
Along with the simulator, MASP also features new robots to help users learn to code and about automation, equipment to learn computer numerical control (CNC) machining and tooling, manual training opportunities with lathes, a welding institute where one can receive a certification in industry-standard types of welding, 3-D printers and other equipment found in Makerspaces for users to program and create.
During the open house, students from the Scott County schools will demonstrate what they have learned through training at the facility. Along with the local students, a representative from Ivy Tech Community College will be available to discuss the certifications the universities offered at MASP.
“If you are going to have excellent training, you want to be connected to the colleges and universities,” Pearson said.
At MASP, officials work with the universities and colleges, including Vincennes University and Ivy Tech Community College, and Prosser Career Education Center.
“We work in partnership with both,” Pearson said.
Not only does MASP have the equipment, but the facility also has the meeting space with its new convening and coworking spaces. The beautifully, modern designed spaces allow individuals, businesses, and groups to a place to work and collaborate. The facility also offers high-speed internet.