NASHUA, N.H. (AP) _ A new partnership between Nashua Community College and Southern New Hampshire University’s College for America will blend several types of learning focused on advanced manufacturing.

The Advanced Manufacturing by Innovation and Design program will be funded by a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and will create a path for students to move from a certificate in advanced manufacturing to an associate degree in precision manufacturing and mechanical design. The program also will allow for the transfer of credits to bachelor’s degree programs.

Officials say the program will include traditional, experiential, competency-based and online project-based learning, and will make higher education both accessible to more students and more applicable in the workplace.

Students will get the benefit of College for America’s competency-based curriculum, which is built around online projects, while learning hands-on skills in the classroom and gaining real world experience at Nashua Community College. Area businesses also will be involved.

“Industry partners are key to the program’s success and will play a pivotal role in the instructional design of (the program), in close collaboration with College for America’s innovative teaching and learning model and Nashua Community College’s rigorous Advanced Manufacturing curricula,” said Nashua Community College President Lucille Jordan. “Through this dynamic partnership, (the program) will chart a course that meets the workforce needs of today’s highly competitive precision manufacturing market.”

The program will target workers at risk of job joss and transition them, along with traditional students, into advanced manufacturing careers.