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Cerritos College Obtains Facilities for High-Tech Vocational Training

March 19, 1987

NORWALK — U.S. Amada has agreed to provide Cerritos College with the use of about $10-million worth of high-tech equipment and a 50,000-square-foot "hands-on" training facility in Santa Fe Springs for vocational training in metalworking and robotics.

The company also will provide the college with additional classroom space in Buena Park.

U.S. Amada is a California subsidiary of a Japanese manufacturer of metalworking machines.

The college will begin offering the course in the fall. The sheet metal fabrication process uses computer-controlled machinery that is employed in industry in conjunction with robots, according to Randy Peebles, associate dean of technology at the college.

"There is a very large demand for students trained in this technology," Peebles said. "A student with a certificate can walk right into a job."

Peebles said that the entry-level salary for a student with no experience would be about $8 to $10 an hour, and that the technology is used in all types of manufacturing.

Peebles said the college expects about 50 students to enroll in the first four courses next fall, increasing to about 100 students by the spring of 1988.

The new curriculum was developed in only three months, Peebles said, in response to U.S. Amada's offer. The courses will be taught initially by current Cerritos College faculty members, but Peebles said the college will be seeking industry experts to teach the courses in the future.

Daniel Koyama, coordinator of U.S. Amada School in Santa Fe Springs, one of five Amada locations in the Southeast area of Los Angeles County, said the company made the offer to the college to "recycle some of the profit and gain back to the community. We have as much stake in this country as anyone else. Bringing jobs to the community is not enough."

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