The Patricia and Alan Guerrieri Technology Center at Wor-Wic Community College offers the community a high-tech learning environment.
Paul Silberquit, dean of occupational and emerging technologies at Wor-Wic Community College, talks about alternative energy classes at the Patricia and Alan Guerrieri Technology Center.
Technology is always changing, and it is important for the Delmarva Peninsula to keep pace. Now, thanks to the new Patricia and Alan Guerrieri Technology Center at Wor-Wic Community College, it is possible for the region’s workforce to stay on the cutting edge.
“We built this facility with the future in mind,” said Dr. Kristin L. Mallory, vice president for academic affairs. “What it offers — not only to our students but to the community as a whole — is access to emerging technologies and training for careers in growing fields.”
That means that within the walls of the new 50,000-square-foot building, those training to learn electrical skills can learn traditional wiring and electro-mechanical technology, but also wind turbine and solar panel wiring. Participants in welding and metal fabrication programs can learn skills that will work at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury or Crystal Steel, as well as US Wind, holders of a lease of land off the Maryland coast that will bring wind turbine power to the grid.
Learning systems in the building also include robotics and geothermal electricity; an augmented reality welding simulation lab in addition to safe, real-world welding booths; a Skill Boss Logistics supply chain automation training and assessment device; mechanical lathes and mills; laser systems and an engraver. A commercial driver’s license simulation lab trains future drivers on virtual 18-wheelers and construction vehicles so they can get a feel for being behind the wheel before they climb into one of Wor-Wic’s training trucks.
With 90% of Wor-Wic students staying and working in the area, the new building will fill high-tech learning requirements for local students, supporting demands for skilled workers who can help build the community.
There is also a public makerspace that will allow the community a chance to use 3D printers, laser cutters, poster printers, sewing and embroidery machines, saws, soldering irons and more.
“We want to encourage not only students but our region’s creators, innovators and entrepreneurs to start building a future here,” Mallory said.
While the new building has the same exterior yellow brick as other buildings on Wor-Wic’s campus, it also has some unique design elements, showcasing the learning taking place within its walls by providing glass viewing panels into various labs. Even the building’s own heating and ventilation ducts are on display behind windows, rather than walled off, so students can get a close-up look at how the systems they learn function in the real world.
The building also houses a computer laboratory, classrooms, student study spaces and conference rooms, as well as offices to accommodate the employees to support these programs.
For more information, see the cover story of the August 2023 Metropolitan magazine