SCC’s InTech Continues to Innovate for Student, Business Success
When Detroit Tool and Metal Products in Fort Madison closed in 2009, workers had a choice: search for another job or go to college. Tony Gebhardt and a few of his coworkers decided to take the plunge and enroll in InTech, SCC’s Industrial Maintenance Technology program.
“I spent 20 years as a welder. I decided I wanted to get a job where I could use my brain instead of my back,” says Gebhardt.
Two years later, Gebhardt completed his specialized AAS degree in Industrial Maintenance Technology. He will receive his diploma in May.
Gebhardt says it wasn’t always easy. He graduated high school in 1991 and hadn’t been to school since. “I had a lot to learn that first year. There was a lot of math and computer training, but the program has a good support structure to get you through it.”
Gebhardt said he originally planned to just take the first year of the program and earn an Electrical Maintenance Technician Certificate, however once he finished it, he chose to pursue getting his AAS degree.
““I knew that if I left to go to work, I wouldn’t finish it. I wanted my degree.”
SCC Vice President of Teaching and Learning Phil Thomas says that from day one, InTech was designed to meet needs of employees, businesses and communities. The college continues to find novel ways to keep it relevant and responsive.
In keeping with that mission, in September the InTech staff teamed up with the college’s Center for Business (CBIZ) to roll out a new short-term certificate training program for production workers. The new Certified Production Technician (CPT) certificate was developed by the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), and is a nationally recognized certification. It provides workers with a basic foundation of production skills in safety awareness, quality practices and measurement, manufacturing processes and production; and maintenance awareness.
Participants can earn this certificate in approximately 16 weeks.
“This is a great certificate for someone who wants to train for an entry-level position in the production industry but who isn’t interested in earning a degree,” explains CBIZ Training Project Consultant Lewis Worden.
InTech Program Director Charlie Rump adds that the program is very versatile.
“It’s really up to the participant. This certificate provides solid fundamentals. However if they want to develop other skills, they can earn additional certificates or even a specialized degree.”
Worden adds that area manufacturers will also find the MSSC-CPT certification useful. Not only can they feel more confident that incoming employees will have the targeted fundamentals to perform on the job, they can work with CBIZ to incorporate components of InTech’s CPT curriculum into their current training programs.
Rump says that the CPT certificate is a win for job applicants and production facilities alike.
“It gives job applicants a leg up on other candidates who are not certified and it enables employers to get their staff up to speed quicker without the need for a lot of extra training.”
In just three short years, InTech has produced a number of success stories. Nearly 200 participants have taken at least one class, 75 certificates and degrees have been awarded, and preliminary data reports that over 30 participants have found jobs in production facilities across the area.
“Our employers say they are very pleased with InTech grads. They know that their current workers who take InTech classes will learn skills upgrades, and that new hires who participated in the program can hit the ground running,” says Rump.
Rump adds that one of the big draws for the program has been the availability of free tuition and books for some participants. However that offer is set to expire soon.
“We had $259,000 available for participant tuition, but it’s running out. However once it’s gone, some students could still be eligible for other types of aid,” Rump explains.
Persons or businesses interested in learning more about InTech should contact Charlie Rump at 319-313-1927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more news or to learn about Southeastern Community College, visit: http://www.scciowa.edu/rss/news/index.html