Hawkeye Community College Opens New Automation and Robotics Center

Automation and Robotics Center Ribbon Cutting posted on Thursday, September 28, 2023 in  College News
WATERLOO–Hawkeye Community College opened its new Automation and Robotics Center with a ribbon cutting and open house on Tuesday, September 26, 2023.

“Automation will impact every business sector and will be the way for small and medium-sized businesses to survive the workforce crisis,” said Dr. Todd Holcomb, president of Hawkeye Community College. “When businesses have the people to innovate, compete, and grow, and when people have the skills and opportunities to put their talent to work, there’s no limit to what they can accomplish.”

The new $5.1 million facility occupies the second floor of the TechWorks Campus at 360 Westfield Ave, Waterloo, and is the first of its kind in Iowa, created to address the state’s skilled worker shortage. Currently nearly one third of all job openings in Iowa go unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers.

“Manufacturing is also very important to our community, as the Cedar Valley region is a manufacturing hub, with companies large and small producing farm machinery, food products, cabinets, and other equipment,” said Quentin Hart, mayor of the City of Waterloo. “The Automation and Robotics Center will not only help our manufacturers and other businesses excel and grow, it will also attract businesses and their employees from around the Midwest.”

The Automation and Robotics Center will serve to not only train more workers in key manufacturing jobs, but also help companies adapt to new innovations in automation and technology and retrain their existing workforce in order to remain competitive.

“This is something we need in this community,” said David Davis, manager of Drive Train Operations for John Deere. “Having this resource will help us not only grow, but accelerate growth.”

The center includes a FANUC USA Connected Smart Manufacturing (CSM) line, a FANUC USA Robodrill, FANUC USA and Haas CNC equipment, and FANUC USA Certified Education Robot Training (CERT) carts. This technology will allow Hawkeye to offer new robotics certifications, beginning with robotics operator, then robotics programmer, and ultimately robotics integrator.

“By utilizing the Automation and Robotics Center, companies can accelerate new technology adoption, upskill their existing workforce, and foster a culture of innovation and intrapreneurship within their business to meet today’s challenges and seize tomorrow’s opportunities,” said Srdjan Golub, Hawkeye’s senior director of community education and workforce solutions. “

The Automation and Robotics Center is designated as a Regional Teacher Training Center by the Smart Automation Certification Alliance (SACA), allowing Hawkeye to provide training and assessment for individuals seeking SACA Gold Certification.

As a certified training site in partnership with Moss Enterprises, the Automation and Robotics Center can also offer courses through the Amatrol Technology Transfer Institute like mastering manufacturing or motor control training.

“As manufacturing evolves, we must also transform the way we educate and train our workforce,” said Aaron Sauerbrei, vice president of Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Education for Hawkeye Community College. “The Automation and Robotics Center will provide the tools, the technology, and the programs to prepare a modern workforce for Industry 4.0 and beyond.”

Those who want to see the Automation and Robotics Center are invited to attend an upcoming open house:

For more information about the Automation and Robotics Center and its offerings, call 319-296-4447 or visit www.hawkeyecollege.edu/automation-and-robotics-center.

Pictured above: College and community leaders cut the ribbon to open the Automation and Robotics Center at TechWorks (L to R): David Davis, Manager, John Deere Drive Train Operations; Todd Holcomb, EdD, President, Hawkeye Community College; Srdjan Golub, Senior Director of Community Education and Workforce Solutions, Hawkeye Community College; Aaron Sauerbrei, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Education, Hawkeye Community College; Quentin Hart, Mayor, City of Waterloo; Kent Wolfe, director, Automation and Robotics Center. Photo credit: Andy Milone, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier


  1. Automation and Robotics Center
  2. Business and Community Education
  3. Industrial Automation
  4. Industrial Maintenance
  5. Industry 4.0
  6. TechWorks
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