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Press Release  

November 27, 2023

CCAC’s new Center for Education Innovation & Training hosts National Coalition of Certification Centers for instructor professional development

PITTSBURGH—The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) inaugurated its new Center for Education, Innovation & Training (CEIT) this week, hosting the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) for a week-long instructor professional development program.

More than 34 participants from 21 organizations nationwide attended the program, which was held at CCAC’s Allegheny Campus from Nov. 13 through Nov. 15, right on the heels of the college’s October CEIT ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The National Coalition of Certification Centers is an industry-education partnership that supports both professional and curriculum development in community colleges and high schools leading to industry certification in the aviation, transportation, manufacturing and energy sectors. CCAC has been partnering with NC3 since 2019.

“We had an overwhelming response to this year’s program,” said Roger Tadajewski NC3 Executive Director. “CCAC’s new cutting-edge CEIT classrooms and labs offer the latest technology and are a natural hub for advancing practices and fostering collaboration. The facility is poised to become a national beacon for education innovation.”

NC3 certification curriculum represents a complete turnkey system of classroom presentation materials, labs and exams centered on today’s in-demand industry skills. NC3 certification supplements a school’s existing curriculum with theory and hands-on practice utilizing world-class equipment and tools.

Housing the latest industry-recognized robotics and automation equipment manufactured by leading companies like Festo Automation, the CEIT facility offers trainees the opportunity to learn in a real-world environment. The college also partnered with Festo’s educational arm, Festo Didactic and NC3 to integrate industry certifications into the program curriculum for CCAC Mechatronics students.

 “CCAC remains committed to providing students and professionals with access to the latest advancements in technology and education tools,” said Michael Rinsem, CCAC Endowed Professor of Technical Curriculum. “The success of this first event and the overwhelming response to the new CEIT facility by professionals from across the nation are powerful testaments to CCAC’s dedication to training the workforce of the future.”

“The vision and leadership of Mr. Rinsem and Dr. Justin Starr, CCAC Endowed Professor of Advanced Technologies, alongside Andrew Mercer, District Manager of Educational Solutions Enterprises (ESE), have made the CEIT facility a place to advance education and provide a platform for students and professionals to acquire valuable job-ready training using the most advanced machinery,” added Lisa Marshall, NC3 Festo senior Program Manager.


NC3 was established to help build a workforce prepared to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s industries by connecting employers and educational institutions in synergistic partnerships that foster effective training, elevation of skilled careers, and employment opportunities. In fulfilling its mission, NC3 builds deep industry-educational partnerships and develops, implements and sustains industry-recognized portable certifications built on national skills standards. We envision an industrial labor market where all workers have jobs they need to thrive and all companies have well-trained employees they need to operate and grow. Learn more at www.nc3.net.


The new Center for Education, Innovation & Training at CCAC represents the college’s long-standing commitment to preparing the region’s workforce with the skills employers need now and in the future. Educational programming in high-demand and emerging fields available at the center includes 3D printing, additive and advanced manufacturing, baking and pastry arts, building automation systems, cybersecurity and network administration, computer numerical control (CNC) machining, culinary arts, foodservice/restaurant management, information technology, machine learning, mechatronics, and robotics and automation. By fully integrating workforce development with industry-recognized credentials and credit degrees, CCAC is providing our students with job-ready training as well as educational pathways designed for lifelong career success. Learn more at ccac.edu.


Since its founding in 1966, CCAC has flourished, becoming the educational powerhouse it is today—a nationally renowned two-year college dedicated to serving all members of the community. From groundbreaking student success initiatives to top-ranked academic and career-based programs, CCAC continues to be the college of choice for nearly one out of every two adults in Allegheny County.

Each year, 30,000+ students enroll at CCAC, taking advantage of more than 130 degree, certificate, diploma and transfer programs as well as hundreds of noncredit and workforce development courses. Comprising four campuses and three neighborhood centers along with other off-site locations, CCAC is honored to have one of the largest veteran student populations in the state and takes pride in ranking among the nation’s top community colleges for the number of individuals graduating in nursing and the health-related professions.

CCAC graduates have transferred to the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities, have obtained the most academically challenging and competitive degrees, and can be found at leading companies, organizations and institutions throughout the country. CCAC alumni are actively engaged in every sector of society, providing leadership to scores of economic, scientific, civic and philanthropic entities both in the Pittsburgh region and around the world. Visit ccac.edu to learn more.

For more information, contact:

Dena Rose Buzila: CCAC Public Relations, dbuzila@ccac.edu, 412.237.6531 / 412.498.2872

Hannah Peltier: Membership Manager + Executive Project Manager, NC3, hannah.peltier@nc3.net; 608.220.7408www.nc3.net

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