The Grand Opening of the Alabama Robotics Technology Park is rescheduled for November 10, 2010 at 1030AM.
The Alabama Robotics Technology Park will consist of three individual training facilities each targeted to a specific industry need. The three buildings will have an investment of approximately $71 million including robotics equipment.
The classes listed on the ARTP website are oriented to operator safety. As far as leading to employment: “There are no job postings at this time.”
Robotics Technology Park
6505 U.S. Hwy 31 | Tanner, AL 35671
Take I-565 West (turns into Highway 20 at the I-65 interchange)
Follow signs to Decatur (westbound Highway 20) for approximately 2 1/2 miles
Take the Highway 31 North/Calhoun Community College exit right just before reaching the Tennessee River
The Park’s main entrance is located on the left (approximately 1 mile from Highway 20- across the street from Calhoun Community)
Note that the AIDT Maritime Training Center in Mobile is offering Free Welding Classes which may lead to jobs at Austal Shipyard building the Littoral Combat Ship class based on the LCS 2 design – USS Independence. Austal is a good shipyard from what I’ve seen (note that IMO Bath Iron Works is the best US shipyard – plus it’s just up the road from L.L. Bean).
BTW for Navy news and analysis I read CDR Salamander – he knows the Navy. His observations about shipbuilding programs on which I’ve worked were spot on, so he’s got lots of credibility with me. Here’s CDR Salamander on the down-select:
From the same Generation of leadership that gave us “Every Child Gets a Trophy” and turned the Navy Achievement Medal into an addendum to PCS orders – via NavyTimes,
The long-awaited decision on which competitor will win the Navy’s littoral combat ship competition is expected to be revealed Wednesday afternoon, and the answer will surprise most people.
The winner? Both teams.
The LCS is seen as a replacement for the FFG class of ships (Frigates), but CDR Salamander describes LCS as “a large, expensive, low endurance, under-armed Corvette.”
The Independence is a beautiful ship and while I like the tri-maran concept, the ship only has one gun (57mm). It seems like it has lots of room but nowhere to put weapons (it had planned to mount the Army NLOS system – oops – cancelled). Plus, the LCS2 program was plagued by overruns – the cost went from $220 million to around $700 million – almost a half a billion dollar overrun! The competing LCS1 USS Freedom experienced similar overruns. Will they ever learn?
Navy officials acknowledged that one reason for the cost overruns was the decision to begin production before the design was mature.
I agree with this comment at CDR Salamander:
Kill the entire program… Take those LCS we built and give them to the USCG as medium endurance cutters and cut our losses, accept our lessons, and make sure we don’t do this again.
The Navy doesn’t remember how to build ships and doesn’t seem to remember that they should be building warships. If the new GOP Congress cares about being good stewards of our money and not just pork piggies – they’ll cancel LCS and start over.
I’m not just beating up on the Navy – we’ve got our own problems close to home – remember the Comanche (20 years and $8 billion)!
You know what bothers me about DoD and NASA (and the Huntsville jail) cost overruns? We know how to do better. For example, Congress and the OSD are trying to institutionalize improvement with the CAPE office (more powerful than the old CAIG), but getting the brass to listen to bean counters or engineers can be difficult:
“It’s all about management. You can have all the safety rules you want, but if you don’t follow them, bad things will happen.”
The thing is – techniques have been around for years for cost control (earned value) and risk mitigation (probabilistic scheduling).
/rant off (I could keep ranting about this for days, so I’ll just stop with that one example – don’t get me started about contract requirements that have nothing to do with actually making something or creating “bow waves” of unperformed work)