Industry 4.0 Teacher Academy Launches in Westmoreland County


Contact: Tom Reed
Phone: 412.889.4224

MT PLEASANT, PA, August 12, 2019 — Catalyst Connection is launching an academy for fifteen local teachers to engage in a conversation about emerging technologies in manufacturing over the course of four days (August 12-15).  Industry 4.0 (sometimes called the 4th Industrial Revolution) is rapidly transforming every industry sector in Southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond.  Manufacturing in particular is seeing the dramatic impact of these emerging technologies. The focus of the Industry 4.0 Teacher Academy is on the emerging technologies of additive manufacturing (3-D printing), robotics/automation, and internet of things. The Academy showcases how these technologies are being utilized by industry, provide resources to bring these technologies into the classroom, and provide training on inquiry-based education best practices.  Attendees discuss the four design principles in Industry 4.0 that support companies in identifying and implementing Industry 4.0 scenarios but also have relevance in classrooms: interconnection; information transparency; technical assistance; and decentralized decisions.

This is the first Industry 4.0 Teacher Academy to be offered. If this pilot is successful, Catalyst Connection hopes to host more academies throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. It is a goal of the academy to create a community of educators who are aware of the growing field of technology jobs. These teachers can share this knowledge with their students and help build the workforce of talent needed for Pennsylvania’s economy. This academy is being held at the Westmoreland County Community College Advanced Technology Center, a partner for the academy. Other organizations who are partnering with Catalyst Connection and the WCCC ATC, include: ASSET STEM Education, BirdBrain Technologies and Carnegie Robotics Academy. Throughout the academy, teachers learn about manufacturing technology and careers.  They will tour L&S Machine Company, Tronix3D and industrial training facilities at WCCC’s Advanced Technology Center. Additional speakers and panelists are coming to the academy from Ectobox, Educational Solutions, Festo Didactic, Intermediate Unit 1 and Premier Automation.

Funding for the development and implementation of the Industry 4.0 Teacher Academy was provided by the Benedum Foundation and Chevron Corporation.

About Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is short for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The first industrial revolution began in the 1700s when water and steam power was used to make products. The second industrial revolution was ushered in the late 1800s with electric powered machinery and Henry Ford’s assembly line process to mass produce goods. The third industrial revolution started in the last half of the twentieth century with computers and automated technology.

Industry 4.0 began at the turn of this century and is transforming manufacturing and being driven by the convergence of nine advanced manufacturing technologies: Autonomous Robots; Simulation; Horizontal and Vertical System Integration; Industrial Internet of Things; Cybersecurity; The Cloud; Additive Manufacturing; Augmented Reality; and Big Data and Analytics. It marries advanced production and operational techniques with digital technologies to create a Smart Factory that is not only interconnected and autonomous, but also communicates, analyzes and uses data to drive intelligent action back in the physical world. It is about more than just production though. According to Deloitte Insights, the smart, connected technologies of Industry 4.0 will transform how parts and products are designed, made, used and maintained. It will also transform companies themselves. Specifically, how they make sense of information and act on it to achieve operational excellence and continually improve the experiences of their customers and partners.

It’s not a question of if Industry 4.0 is coming, but how quickly it will impact Southwestern Pennsylvania (SWPA) and the companies and the people who work here.

Partner Description


Catalyst Connection is an economic development organization dedicated to helping small manufacturers improve their competitive performance.  Advisors, consultants and instructors offer training, consulting and administer financial programs that can provide funding for equipment, machinery or capital improvements.A nonprofit 501 (c) 3 firm, the organization has supported southwestern Pennsylvania manufacturers for more than 30 years.  For more information, call 1-888-887-7472 or go to


ASSET STEM Education™ is a national education improvement nonprofit that provides educators, schools and educational organizations (serving Pre-K through career). ASSET serves more than 2,500 educators impacting more than 150,000 students annually. The organization is part of 100Kin10, Change the Equation and STEMx—national coalitions for developing excellent STEM teachers, sharing best practices and scaling effective practices in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. For more information, call 1-412-481-7320 or go to   


BirdBrain Technologies cultivates creativity and computational thinking by providing flexible and inspiring products: the Finch Robot and the Hummingbird Robotics Kit. Founded at the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University in 2010, BirdBrain is a research-based company that promotes gender equality and diversity in engineering and robotics. A large part of our mission is to assist educators interested in bringing computer science and engineering design into any classroom. We work collaboratively to support teachers with free standards-aligned curriculum and professional development. Our products have been used by thousands of teachers around the world to bring creative design and robotics fun into the classroom! For more information, call 1-888-371-6161 or go to


The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy is committed to using the motivational effects of robotics to excite students about science and technology. We are an educational outreach of Carnegie Mellon University, and part of the university’s world-renowned Robotics Institute. Our administrative staff and development team are housed in the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), where robots for business, government, and industry are designed, prototyped, and tested just outside our office doors. For more information, call 1-412-681-7160 or go to   


Westmoreland County Community College’s ATC offers state-of-the-art labs and classrooms for a variety of careers in manufacturing and other technically-oriented areas. The facility occupies 73,500-square-feet of space at RIDC-Westmoreland in Mt. Pleasant and features technology equipped classrooms; specialized labs for hands-on training; open, flexible instructional space that allows for collaborative learning; administrative offices; and a student lounge.

For more information, call 1-724-925-4104 or go to

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