Advanced Manufacturing - Mechatronics

The importance of manufacturing to our economy is significant. The manufacturing in the United States currently employs approximately 12 million people and supports an additional 17 million. It is the ninth largest economy and accounts for 21% of all production output in the world.
Average advanced manufacturing wages/salaries in North Carolina are $16 an hour and an annual average salary of $45,000.
Manufacturing is booming in Henderson and Transylvania Counties with several new companies locating to the area and many existing manufacturers expanding. Job opportunities abound for machinist, welders, manufacturing technicians, mechatronics technicians, etc.

Blue Ridge Community College students have the option of choosing tracks in Industrial Maintenance, Machining, Welding, Certified Production Technician, Certified Logistics Technician, and AutoCad. These courses are competency-based training programs designed to provide students with enhanced career opportunities in advanced manufacturing.

As new companies locate to the area the manufacturing sector of the local economy continues to grow. BRCC competency–based training programs are designed to provide the skills and certification the local workforce needs to find and improve career opportunities in this exciting labor market.


BRCC offers a variety of tracks in Advanced Manufacturing.

Testimony to the Advanced Manufacturing Programs and BRCC Student Success

BRCC Machining Testimony, Kharen Caggiano

“I would like to be employed by an excellent manufacturing company where I can perfect my machining skills and eventually become a quality engineer… Taking the Continuing Education Machining courses gave me the opportunity to explore my career interest and transfer those courses into a degree program.”

— Kharen Caggiano, Transferred Continuing Education Machining courses into the Curriculum Machining Program
Associate Degree - Machining, Summer 2015

BRCC Welding Testimony, Brian Kubis

Brian Kubis had worked for Meritor for over 9 years. Brian’s supervisor recommended that he enroll in a welding class at Blue Ridge Community College to be eligible for upcoming welding positions at Meritor. Brian was excited at the recommendation and made arrangements to attend a class.

“I learned basic welding principles and how to run different types of welders including the robotic welders. The instructor was very knowledgeable and made the class interesting. I am thinking about continuing my education with some advanced welding training,” he states. Brian recently received a promotion to Welding Technician position.

— Brian Kubis, Welding Class Fall 2012
Promoted to Welding Technician, Meritor Inc.


Mechatronics combines electrical, mechanical, computer, and industrial engineering. BRCC's Mechatronics teaches students about product design, instrumentation, manufacturing methods, and computer integration in process and device control.


Skills Certification System
The Manufacturing Institute has launched the NAM-Endorsed Skills Certification System to create stackable credentials that can apply to all sectors of the manufacturing sector. These nationally portable, industry-recognized credentials validate the skills and competencies needed to be productive and successful in entry-level manufacturing positions.

The stackable certifications build on basic academic and workplace requirements, followed by technical competencies, and then specialized, occupationally specific skills. The sequence is capped with professional and managerial certifications offered at the baccalaureate and graduate levels.  MSSC certifications validate the core competencies of new-hires and can also be used to improve and sharpen the skills of existing employees.
back to top ▲


Certification Partners

ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC)

ACT logo

 NC Career Readiness Certificate



The ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) is an industry-recognized, portable credential that certifies applied academic and employability skills needed for workplace success. Individuals earn the NCRC by passing three assessments: Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information.

National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS)

National Institute of Metalworking Skills

 Skills in the metalworking industry are validated through the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) machining and metalforming certifications. The certifications are earned through hands-on performance, as well as theory testing. Fifty-two NIMS credentials allow employers to hone their credentialing requirements and choose only those certifications that are applicable to their company.

American Welding Society’s (AWS) Certified Welder Certifications

American Welding Society

The American Welding Society’s (AWS) Certified Welder Certifications are performance-based tests used to validate competency in a variety of areas, including structural steel, petroleum pipelines, sheet metal, and chemical refining.

As the shortage of skilled production workers grows, manufacturers cannot afford to allow their employees to fall behind. Begin to train a cutting-edge workforce today.
Visit to learn more.

back to top ▲


AutoCAD Track
Students explore the concepts of two- and three-dimensional drawings and modelings. They learn how to incorporate models into printable layouts. They learn about primitives, as well as extruding, revolving, subtractive modeling, additive modeling, and rendering. Successful completion of both AutoCAD I and AutoCAD II provides students with the knowledge to sit for the AutoCAD Certified User exam.

The course teaches the essential skills and basic concepts of design and shape using AutoCAD. Emphasis is on visual concepts using simple drawings, printing, and plotting. The course includes production and management of 2D and 3D design drawings.

AutoCad II
This course builds on AutoCAD I and the drawing process is developed with a focus on engineering. Students construct a variety of 2D and 3D drawings and 3D models and learn how to incorporate their models into a variety of printable layouts. At the completion, students will have a portfolio of drawings suitable to present in a job interview.

Both classes must be successfully passed to be awarded 3 articulated curriculum credits.

back to top ▲


Certified Logistics Technician Track (MSSC)
Students receive comprehensive training in required areas.

  • Global Supply Chain
  • Logistics Environment
  • Product Receiving
  • Product Storage
  • Order Processing
  • Inventory Control
  • Customs
  • Tracking Operations
  • Forklift Operations
  • OSHA 10
  • Microsoft Excel

More than 20 classes provide students with the training to sit for the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Logistics Technician exam.

back to top ▲


Certified Production Technician Track (MSSC)
Students receive comprehensive training in required areas.

  • Safety
  • Quality and Continuous Improvement
  • Blueprint Reading
  • Machine Automation
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Mechanical/ Electrical Principles

Classes provide students with the training to sit for the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Production Technician exam.

back to top ▲


Machining Track 
Students learn machining operations of the metal working industry. They focus on the concepts and capabilities of computer numerical control machine tools and study the programming, setup, and operation of a CNC milling and turning center

Six classes provide students with the skills to sit for the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) exam.

  1. Blue Print Reading
  2. Machining Technology I
  3. Intro to CNC
  4. CNC Milling Center Operations
  5. CNC Turning Center Operations
  6. Machining Technology II

All six classes must be successfully passed to be awarded 20 articulated curriculum credits.
Each course has an aligned credentialing exam.

back to top ▲


Manufacturing Production Technician (CPTAE)
The Certified Production Technician (CPTAE) program certifies students who demonstrate mastery of the core competencies of manufacturing production (front-line entry-level to front-line supervisor) through successful completion of the certification assessments.

The goal of the CPTAE certification program is to raise the level of performance in production employees. The program consists of five individual certificate modules:

  • Safety
  • Quality Practices & Measurement
  • Manufacturing Processes & Production
  • Maintenance Awareness
  • Green Production

Candidates must earn the first four certificates to receive the full CPTAE certification.

back to top ▲


Other Related Programs

Basic Electricity:  The Invisible Electron
The course teaches the basics of electricity and is designed for beginning electricians to maintenance technicians.

PLC Applications — Level I
The course teaches the basics of binary arithmetic, ladder logic, terminology, and hardware components associated with Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs).

PLC Applications — Level II
This course is a PLC boot camp for those already familiar with Programmable Logic Controllers. It covers troubleshooting and programming issues.

HVAC — R Fundamentals
This introductory course focuses on the demand for higher efficiency industrial, commercial, and residential systems, including geothermal systems training. It provides a fundamental understanding of commercial refrigeration systems, environmentally safe refrigerants, direct digital controls, installation, service, and troubleshooting.

Other courses are available upon request.

back to top ▲


Summer STEM Camps

YEE1 logo Young Engineers Experience1 (YEE1)
Solve. Explore. Experience.

A four-day STEM camp introducing students to the world of engineering
Open to rising 7th through 9th graders

ArcStrong Welding Blue Ridge Community College logo ArcStrong
Design. Fabricate. Weld.
A one-day introduction to the world of welding
Open to rising 9th through 12th graders


View Blue Ridge Community College STEM Camps information



Tooling U-SME Recognizes Blue Ridge Community College
as Model in Manufacturing Education


Blue Ridge is one of five institutions to receive the 2015 Tooling U-SME Platinum Education Center (TUPEC) Award

 In recognition of the significant role of manufacturing in today’s global society, Tooling U-SME, a leader in manufacturing learning and development, recognized Blue Ridge Community College with its Tooling U-SME Platinum Education Center (TUPEC) award. Blue Ridge was one of five colleges receiving this honor in 2015, which is given to institutions considered to be outstanding academic models for the advancement of the manufacturing industry.

Blue Ridge Community College enhances the professional development of students by creatively using online and hands-on training in a blended learning format to help develop a skilled and qualified future manufacturing workforce.   

“Blue Ridge Community College, like our past recipients, exemplifies the spirit of the TUPEC awards,” said Toni Neary, education specialist for Tooling U-SME’s Government and Education Group. “We applaud the instructors and schools that make practical use of technology and state-of-the-art equipment to prepare our future manufacturing workforce. These programs are not just educating, but inspiring the next generation.” 

Since 2012, Tooling U-SME has recognized exceptional two-year and technical schools that embrace flexibility, high-quality content and efficiencies in teaching skills that students need to become valuable members of the manufacturing workforce. Students who graduate from these schools are better prepared for manufacturing careers, providing immediate value to the companies that hire them.

Blue Ridge Community College started including Tooling U-SME’s online coursework into its Customized Training programs with local manufacturers in 2013. Shortly after, the coursework became part of the school’s Computer Integrated Machining program. Since then, the college has deployed this curriculum throughout other advanced technology disciplines including Engineering, Mechatronics, Welding, and Industrial Maintenance. 

“There are many great community colleges and technical schools that work diligently to level set students with the skills needed to be successful in the manufacturing industry,” said Bryan Bagley, Endowed Chair Computer Integrated Machining at Blue Ridge Community College. “We are honored to be recognized as an educational leader working to help close the skills gap.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that nearly 3.5 million skilled manufacturing workers may be needed to fill the talent pipeline within the next ten years. Unfortunately, two million of those jobs are expected to go unfilled due to a shortage of workers with the skills necessary to operate in an advanced manufacturing environment. Manufacturing companies can look to community colleges and technical schools for innovative training programs that produce highly skilled candidates for employment in their sector.

back to top ▲


Welding Track
Students are introduced to all basic welding processes.

  • Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
  • Gas Metal Arc Welding
  • Flux Core or SMAW Stick Welding

Specific classes prepare students for the AWS Welding Code D1.1 exam in TIG, MIG or Stick.

  • Gas Tungsten Arc Welding Plate — TIG
  • GMAW FCAW Plate — MIG
  • SMAW Plate — Stick*

Each successfully passed class will provide articulated curriculum credit of 4 credits. *Stick provides 5 credits of articulated curriculum credit.

back to top ▲


Contact Us

Henderson County Campus

(828) 694-1735

180 West Campus Dr.
Flat Rock, NC 28731

Phone: (828) 694-1735
Fax: (828) 694-4774