NCTC Is A Member Of Center Of Excellence Awarded $2.55 Million From National Science Foundation

360 Manufacturing Center of Excellence, of which Northland Community & Technical College is a member, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Regional Center award for $2.55 million. This grant will support efforts to increase graduates in advanced manufacturing programs at 360 Center of Excellence partner colleges through 2019.

360 will work closely with college partners, industry stakeholders and high school educators to:
• Offer 360 eTECH online and hands-on education to high school students.
• Use mediated telepresence technology to meet technician education needs.
• Develop a competency-based education model to integrate with the 360 Seamless Career Pathway.
• Recruit the future workforce through Dream It. Do It. Minnesota.
• Increase the number of females gaining new and improved manufacturing skills.

Northland Community & Technical College will be working with 360 to achieve these goals. “We are excited to be part of 360’s innovative work to meet the dynamic, evolving needs of manufacturers in our area,” says Kirsten Michalke, Director of Workforce Development. “Northland is pleased to expand our outreach to manufacturers through this innovative educational partnership,” says James Retka, Dean of Workforce and Economic Development.

“We are pleased to work with Northland Community & Technical College,” states Jeremy Leffelman, director of 360. “Each college partner plays an important role from planning to executing strategies to meet our goal of increasing the quantity and quality of manufacturing technicians.”

In 2010, 360 received a National Science Foundation project grant to begin 360 eTECH. In 2012, 360 received their first National Science Foundation ATE grant. The newly awarded grant continues 360’s designation as an ATE Regional Center.

360 began in 2006 as an education and industry collaboration to recruit, educate and train workers for dynamic careers in manufacturing through the Minnesota State system.

About 360 Manufacturing Center of Excellence
360 Manufacturing Center of Excellence is a consortium of 15 institutions led by Bemidji State University and includes 14 technical and community colleges, including Northland Community & Technical College. 360 is designing a 21st century education system that prepares individuals to have rewarding careers in manufacturing and meets the dynamic, evolving needs of the region’s manufacturing employers through an enhanced pipeline, industry-driven curriculum, and authentic assessment. 360 is a member of the Minnesota State colleges and universities system and received a National Science Foundation grant in 2012 to become an Advanced Technological Education Regional Center. To learn more, visit

Northland Community and Technical College (NCTC) is a comprehensive college with campuses in Thief River Falls, MN, and East Grand Forks, MN. NCTC also has an aerospace site in Thief River Falls, MN, and a satellite site in Roseau, MN. NCTC offers certificates, diplomas, transfer courses, two-year degrees (A.A.S., A.S., A.A.) in more than 80 areas of study, workforce training and education programs. NCTC is a member of Minnesota State, the fourth-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. NCTC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer. For more information about Northland Community & Technical College, visit or call 1.800.959.6282.