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QCC Brings Education to the Workplace

March, 2020
  • Karl Storrs employees are advancing their careers through QCC's Manufacturing Certificate program.
    Karl Storrs employees are advancing their careers through QCC's Manufacturing Certificate program.
  • Karl Storrs employees at QCC's Advanced Manufacturing lab.
    Karl Storrs employees at QCC's Advanced Manufacturing lab.

Karl Storz Endoskope Inc., of Charlton, recently partnered with Quinsigamond Community College to bring a Manufacturing Technology Certificate program to the company workplace. The goal was to encourage employees to further their education, by acquiring knowledge and skills to be more qualified for advancement. Storz employees from different shifts and different departments participated in the program.

Most classes were taught on-site in the company’s training room, with some “hands-on” classes conducted in the advanced manufacturing lab at QCC. Not only was this convenient for employees to attend the bulk of their courses on the jobsite (providing valuable time savings), but also helped remove an additional financial barrier by having the company fund the program.

QCC’s Manufacturing Certificate program is designed to prepare students to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills to the identification and resolution of production problems in the manufacturing of products. Additional courses in mathematics and microcomputer applications were provided to ensure the employees had the foundational skills they would need to be successful.

QCC manufacturing faculty members, Professors Lee Duerden and Damian Kieran, provided instruction that included basic machine operation, engineering materials science, computer-aided design, machine maintenance and instrumentation, manufacturing quality and safety. Some of the standard curriculum was also modified to directly support Karl Storz activities.

“An example of curriculum modification would be in the Strength of Materials. We specifically identified endoscope vertebra, which are tested to determine strength of the weld. There were some other areas where we brought in discussion points for Karl Storz manufacturing processes and quality control,” Mr. Duerden said.

The participating employees were challenged in many ways, juggling full-time work and family schedules, while also making their education a priority. Eight of the students who embarked in the 15-month program earned their Certificate in Manufacturing Technology. The students who were unable to complete the program retained their academic credits and can apply them to a certificate or degree in the future.

Storz company management recognized the accomplishments of the employees with a celebration at its Charlton site. President and General Manager Bruce Watkins addressed the group at the event, highlighting the company’s growth and calling out the participating employees for their contribution to the company’s success.

 “It takes a lot of work to complete 24 credits – you should be proud of your accomplishments. Congratulations on a job well done,” Mr. Duerden told the employees.

One of the participating employees, Jake Manilla, has already enrolled in the QCC Engineering Associate in Science Degree program.

“Karl Storz offering these classes on-site gave me the opportunity to see if college was for me. I now know that I can do it. I chose to enroll in the engineering program at QCC because there are many different kinds of engineering jobs at Storz that I can apply for with an engineering degree,” Mr. Manilla said. “I am very grateful to Karl Storz for having offered us the certificate program.”

For more information on QCC’s customized workforce training programs, contact QCC’s Business Development Specialist, Christine McNally at cmcnally [at] qcc.mass.edu

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