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Alpena Community College, Concrete Plans for Future Success

You drive on it. Your house’s foundation is built on it. People even use it for their kitchen countertops. Not sure what “it” is? It is concrete, and Alpena Community College (ACC) has become a leader in teaching the techniques and applications of concrete.

Started in 1954 as a training program for the Besser Company, the concrete technology program became part of ACC’s curriculum in 1964 and established itself as a leader in the field with the completion of the World Center for Concrete Technology (WCCT), an $8 million research and education facility.

Finished in August 2000, the WCCT is a partnership between the concrete and concrete products industries, ACC, the State of Michigan, the U.S. Department of Commerce EDA, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

At over 42,000 square feet, the WCCT contains the finest in audio-visual facilities and has a high-speed connection to Merit Network’s backbone network and a connection to Internet2, provided by Merit.

Building Knowledge and Experience

The unique educational experience that ACC offers students enrolled in its Concrete Technology program includes operating a concrete block manufacturing plant, using computerized batching equipment in lab experiments, and testing concrete in an environment room.

Students can obtain a nationwide certification that will allow them to practice their craft anywhere in the United States upon completing their program, and most students receive four to six job offers after their graduation.

In addition, the World Center for Concrete Technology offers Master Blockmaker in-person and online workshops, where concrete and concrete product companies can provide their employees with specialized training through ACC. After successfully completing five classes, students can attain the title of Master Blockmaker.

The Master Blockmaker program regularly attracts students from across the United States and around the world. Students can travel to Alpena for hands-on training or use a Windows-based computer with an Internet connection for online training.

Testing & Research

In addition to a top-notch educational programs, ACC’s World Center for Concrete Technology assists concrete manufacturers with research and testing of new or experimental products.

WCCT staff has conducted research on admixtures, pigments, slags, ground glass, plastic, rubber, solid waste and more. Researchers use individually controlled bays to steam and mist cure test materials at different temperatures. ACC’s testing lab is located adjacent to its manufacturing laboratory and is available to test materials and products by ASTM standards.

ACC researchers can provide customers with confidential case studies at the WCCT or companies can lease the advanced facilities at the Besser concrete products plant to conduct their own research.

The variety of training and research opportunities available to students and companies through Alpena Community College has established the World Center for Concrete Technology as the premier concrete technology facility in the United States. After more than 30 years, ACC has proven that concrete results are attained with top-notch facilities, faculty, and programs.

About Alpena Community College

Founded in 1952, Alpena Community College is located on 700 acres in Alpena, Michigan. ACC offers numerous associate degrees and certificates. They have been a Member of Merit Network since November 1995. Merit has provided an Internet2 connection to ACC since March 2006.