Superintendent David DiBarri
100 Hemlock Road
Wakefield, MA 01880
For Immediate Release
Monday, March 20, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Northeast Metro Tech Adds Robotics and Automation Program to Class Offerings
WAKEFIELD — School Committee Chairman Deborah Davis of Woburn and Superintendent David DiBarri are pleased to announce that the Northeast Metro Tech School Committee recently voted to implement a Chapter 74 robotics and automation program to begin in the fall.
The course will teach students about the design and development of new products and machines, and how to improve processes and manage operations and repairs, with a focus on industrial robotics. Graduates will leave with the skills needed to pursue a career as a robotics or manufacturing technician, or to study engineering in college.
During a meeting on March 9, School Committee members approved the program for the start of the 2017/2018 school year. This is the 16th vocational program offered at Northeast Metro Tech.
“We understand that over the last decade or so there has been an increased need for qualified robotics and automation technicians and we’re happy to be able to offer a program that will give our students the skills they need to succeed in their careers,” Davis said.
As part of the rollout, incoming ninth grade students will complete a week-long exploratory program for robotics and automation, as all freshmen do with each of the vocational programs offered.
Current ninth grade students will have the opportunity to choose robotics and automation as their vocation of choice and will move into the full curriculum, which is currently in the development phase, at the start of next year.
The curriculum for 11th grade will be added for the 2018/2019 school year, and 12th grade will be completed for the 2019/2020 school year, to coincide with the first set of students progressing through the program. School officials also hope to add an after school robotics club to give interested students the opportunity to get involved with robotics competitions.
Bringing a robotics and automation program to Northeast Metro Tech has been in the works for the last few years. At the School Committee meeting earlier this month, school officials presented the program to members, noting that 122 companies in the Commonwealth use robotics, and according to the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, generated more than $1.6 billion in 2015.
Potential jobs in the industry include robotics programmer, robotics maintenance technician, engineering technician, robotic welding programmer and automation controls technician.
“Robotics and automation directly align with our focus on science, technology, engineering and math,” Superintendent DiBarri said. “We’re extremely excited to have this program available next year and I expect there to be a lot of interest among students.”