University of Pittsburgh
September 7, 2000


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, September 8 -- Pennsylvania State Senator Melissa Hart

(R-Bradford Woods) announced today that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is provi-ding a $350,000 grant to the University of Pittsburgh's Manufacturing Assistance Center (MAC) to provide training programs and shared manufacturing space and expertise for

local start-up manufacturers.

"Manufacturing is still a major part of our region's economy," Hart said, "and this grant will help effective resources like Pitt's MAC to ensure that jobs and business opportunities in manufacturing continue to grow here in Pittsburgh."

"We're grateful that Senator Hart and the Pennsylvania legislature recognize the importance of providing the training and start-up expertise that the Manufacturing Assistance Center provides," said Gerald Holder, dean of the School of Engineering at Pitt. "Because, it is important for the region to retain a strong manufacturing base which is essential to the vitality of our economy."

The grant will be provided by the state through the Program Year 2000 State Employment and Training Demonstration Project and the Allegheny County Workforce Investment Area.

An initiative of the Department of Industrial Engineering in Pitt's School of Engineering, the MAC is a technology transfer center with a highly skilled staff and a state-of-the-art factory. It offers area manufacturers shared access to, and hands-on training on, advanced machine tools and computer-aided manufacturing software, as well as technical assistance, and research and development. It also offers skills and apprentice training to individuals.

Since its inception in 1994, the MAC has assisted more than 100 start-up manufacturers, and the shared facitilites currently house five manufacturing start-ups. The MAC offers training in manual machining, precision grinding, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining, Electric Discharge Machines (EDM), metrology (precision measuring), and engineer training, as well as National Institute for Metalworking Skills certification. The MAC can also tailor specialize courses to meet the needs of local manufacturers.

The MAC has completed more than 350 shared manufacturing/technical assistance projects and more than 2000 person-days of hands-on training.