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Austin Community College offering third bachelor's degree option to get more students in manufacturing jobs

The deadline to apply for the program is June 15.

AUSTIN, Texas — Students at the Austin Community College now have more options for bachelor's degrees. And the degree is aimed at helping grads thrive in a booming manufacturing industry in Central Texas.

Registration is now open for the Bachelor's of Applied Technology in Manufacturing Engineering Technology. It's the third bachelor's degree offered by the community college, and it's designed to fill growing gaps in the workforce.

ACC leaders are trying to address a need they hear repeatedly from new companies in the Austin area.

“Too often, we hear that companies in our community are forced to hire outside the local talent pool because there aren’t enough prepared and skilled workers here. We want to change that,” said Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC chancellor, in a statement. “This new bachelor’s degree gives us the opportunity to provide a more accessible and affordable pathway. It means more people in our community can advance their careers.”

RELATED: As Texas eyes global manufacturing dominance, it must deal with one big hurdle

Samsung Austin Semiconductor, Tesla and NXP are among the companies involved on the advisory committee for the program and curriculum.

The first cohort of students starts in the fall of 2022, which means students can start applying now. The program will be available at the ACC Highland location on a full-time and part-time basis. There will be hybrid and online course options. The deadline to apply is June 15.

It's important to note that the degree is available to pursue for people who already have an applicable associate degree in a program like advanced manufacturing, architecture and engineering computer-aided design, automotive technology, logistics and supply chain management and engineering technology.

According to 2017 data from the National Association of Manufacturers, Texas was home to more than 17,000 manufacturing companies. The Texas Comptroller's Office told KVUE that manufacturing made up 13% of the state's economic output. In fact, the dollars created by manufacturing in the State of Texas, $241 billion, is greater than the entire economy of Portugal, about $239 billion.

ACC also offers a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree and a Bachelor of Applied Science degree.

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