LCCC receives $2.3 million EDA Grant for Advanced Manufacturing

CHEYENNE, Wyoming – Laramie County Community College’s efforts to launch a new Advanced Manufacturing program received the final piece of funding with the announcement from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo, that the College has been approved for an Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant totaling $2.3 million. The grant will be used to purchase equipment for its new Advanced Manufacturing and Material Center (AMMC). This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment.

This grant will provide equipment allowing LCCC to broaden its education and training offerings to produce a skilled workforce in the Advanced Manufacturing Industry. This EDA project will be matched with $578,449 from the LCCC Foundation and is expected to create 2,237 jobs.

“Growing the manufacturing industry is an economic development priority for Cheyenne, Laramie County, and Wyoming, and to do that we need to provide a high-quality workforce” stated Joe Schaffer, LCCC president. “We are excited to have this final piece of funding in place, allowing us to finalize our plans for the AMMC and continue moving this project forward.” The EDA grant will be combined with private donations and $3.04 million in funding approved by Laramie County voters after the Laramie County Commission included it in the recent 6th Penny special purpose tax election.

The AMMC will focus on developing a skilled workforce for the advanced and additive manufacturing industries. LCCC is currently working to renovate 14,200 square feet of current campus space into the new home of the Advanced Manufacturing and Material Center. 

The College will offer programming leading to post-secondary credentials and industry certifications. Specific skills taught will include: Safety, Lean Manufacturing, mill and lathe operations, CAD/CAM, 3D modeling, ISO and quality, project management, Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing, CNC milling and turning, metal and plastic additive manufacturing, and Industry 4.0 integration.

The awarding of the EDA grant will allow LCCC to invest in cutting edge equipment such as: CNC Lathe and Milling Machines, Coordinate Measuring Machine, Industrial Systems, Wire EDM, 5-Axis CNC mill and plastic and metal 3D printers. The AMMC will include a Fabrication Laboratory and Concept Forge to help small manufacturers grow and to support entrepreneurs in prototyping and production. 

Ultimately, the AMMC will help address worker- and skill-gaps in the area, which in turn will diversify and strengthen Wyoming’s economy. In a release from Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo, she stated “this project is part of EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment and will provide support as the state strengthens new industries and creates good-paying jobs for Wyoming workers.”

When the facility is completed, LCCC anticipates launching programming in the AMMC as early as the Spring of 2023. Initial offerings will be focused on short-term, high demand training, with longer-term plans to expand into a series of college credentials including both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.