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The Institute for Digital Enterprise Advancement (IDEA), a non-profit national collaborative center supporting Digital Engineering Education and Workforce Development, will receive $550,000 to take the next steps in fulfilling its challenge of accelerating the supply of a competent engineering technical workforce. This workforce will have the needed skills to meet the demand for employees capable of building, manipulating, and exploiting Model-based System Engineering (MBSE) in the needed Systems Modeling Language (SysML) format.

“One of the most important duties of Congress is to fund the federal government and to make sure those tax dollars are being spent in a responsible manner and going to projects that truly make a difference in the community,” Rep. Aderholt said in a statement.

IDEA, in partnership with Calhoun Community College, Auburn University and Victory Solutions, developed a Digital Engineering education and training curriculum featuring an Associate Degree in Systems Engineering Technology (SET). The SET curriculum creates a new skillset of capable engineering technicians that will enable and accelerate the incorporation of digital engineering into the workplace.

This two-year SET Degree provides a low cost, accelerated entry into the high-tech field of engineering and is attractive to graduating high school seniors, returning veterans, or workforce up-skilling/re-skilling. The SET curriculum has been developed to align with employers’ needs for workers skilled in emerging systems engineering technologies without requiring a four-year degree. Alabama’s 4th district is home to several community colleges that educate the North Alabama Aerospace and Defense workforce.

Wallace State Community College is one of these colleges prepared to offer the SET degree as soon as August 2022. “The efforts of Rep. Aderholt to secure funding for the SET program is greatly appreciated and exactly the support needed for IDEA to expand throughout the state of Alabama,” said IDEA Executive Director and SET program Manager, Mr. Chris Crumbly.

In addition to the SET curriculum IDEA also offers education and training solutions in digital engineering for professional development, university-level electives and certificates. IDEA is currently working toward a Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program for SET.

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