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2015
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Sierra College CACT and Hacker Lab Partnership Spurs Innovation

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Sierra College provided a high-end 3D printer and soldering kits to Hacker Lab in a partnership dedicated to educating and encouraging Sacramento makers to innovate, experiment, design and produce products that may contribute to the region’s economic growth.

The energy and passion is palatable to anyone who tours Sacramento Hacker Lab, http://hackerlab.org/ a place where entrepreneurs, hobbyists, students, artists, retirees and corporate employees mix, inspire and produce in incubator offices and hands-on fabricating space. A professional level 3D printer and soldering equipment are now available to these makers thanks to the Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technology (CACT), based in Rocklin, CA. http://sierracollegetraining.com/

Hacker Lab members are using the Sierra College 3D printer to make models, chess pieces, characters for video games, custom parts for turntables and components for aquaponics systems, reported Eric Ullrich, Co-Founder/COO, Hacker Lab.

“One of our corporate partners, VSP Global, is using 3D printers to develop new designs,” said Ullrich. “They benefit from collaborating with our community of designers and engineers who use the 3D printers.”

“The soldering kits contributed by CACT are also being used by members who are developing electronics for arcade games and home automation systems. Sierra College has made it possible to give the public access to high-end equipment used in industry,” said Ullrich.

Located at 1715 I St in Sacramento, CA, Hacker Lab offers events http://hackerlab.org/events/ monthly. These include Soldering, 3D printer orientation and Computer Aided Design (CAD) workshops that are offered several times each month.

Willy Duncan, President, Sierra College Joint Community College District, http://www.sierracollege.edu/  is enthusiastic about the collaboration. “Deans and faculty across several disciplines have already toured Hacker Lab,” said Duncan. “Hacker Lab offers students the opportunity to engage with others in a real world environment. They can gain skills and experiences that will propel their education and career plans toward exciting, growing sectors of the economy.”

Ullrich believes that the partnership is ideal because both Hacker Lab and Sierra College share an interest in education, technology and innovation. “We believe that technology can change the world and the starting point is education,” said Ullrich. “Sierra College has an excellent reputation and already we’re learning from each other and developing friendships with faculty who want to share their creativity and passion. To attract students, we offer discounted membership and want to work with campus clubs.”

Sierra College has a track record of providing employee training and preparing students for advanced manufacturing careers according to Carol Pepper-Kittredge, CACT Director, Sierra College. “Hacker Lab complements community colleges, and working together we can strengthen Sacramento’s regional economy,” said Pepper-Kittredge.

“Students can work all night on a project at Hacker Lab while benefiting from the advice of members with industry experience. Once entrepreneurs are introduced to product development at Hacker Lab, they may want to enroll at community college to gain in-depth skills, certificates and degrees. Businesses may be able to expand their product lines or improve methods as a result of experimentation and interaction with other creative people,” said Pepper-Kittredge.

“Technology and Advanced Manufacturing businesses can benefit from Sierra College’s collaboration with Hacker Lab and ultimately that means more career opportunities for students prepared with in-demand technical skills.”

 About Sierra College CACT

Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) is focused on Advanced Manufacturing training and development, and is funded through the Workforce and Economic Development program of the California Community College Chancellor’s Office.  Since 1992, the Sierra College CACT has provided customized training for organizations, manufacturers and technology companies throughout Northern California. Through the Sierra STEM Collaborative, Sierra College works with college faculty as well as middle and high schools to promote STEM Education and careers. Additional information is available at www.sierracollegetraining.com and www.sierraschoolworks.com or contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge at 916-660-7801 or cpepper-kittredge (at)sierracollege(dot)edu.

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