SCC Press Release

SCC’s New Manufacturing Skills Program Provides Short-term Training for Area Workers

Starting in March, Southeastern Community College will begin offering a new industrial operations maintenance skills training program. The short-term program is the result of a strategic partnership between SCC and Roquette America. The program is also designed to help manufacturers throughout the region.

When SCC’s new President, Dr. Michael Ash, met with Roquette America staff in October of 2012, the two investigated ways to quickly fill the company’s production workers’ basic skills gaps.

Roquette America agreed to purchase approximately $250,000 worth of curriculum and equipment, and SCC agreed to serve as the custodian of the equipment and hire and maintain a program instructor. SCC will also offer courses to the broader community using the curriculum and equipment throughout the year. 

The training equipment and curriculum was purchased from Scientific Management Techniques (SMT). It includes more than 200 hands-on training aids that students will use to learn to operate, repair and troubleshoot industrial machinery. They are the same tools, components, and systems currently used on factory floors across the country.

The training program lasts 10 weeks and each session can accommodate up to 12 participants. Those who complete the program will earn a certificate of completion.

SCC’s Center for Business (CBIZ) Executive Director Dennis Hinkle notes that this training will help companies reduce their hiring and training costs.

“Manufacturers that hire certificate holders can do so knowing they will have a skills base that will enable them to get up to speed quickly. It will really lower the risk and cost of hiring.”

The training equipment is designed to be transportable and customizable for individual manufacturers. Everything can be packed up, transported to another location, and ready for training in about a week.

“We’re able to move this equipment around the area so that it’s more convenient for participants and manufacturers. If people know they don’t have to drive 30 minutes or more to get the training, they may be more likely to enroll,” adds Hinkle.

The first training session is tentatively scheduled to start on March 25 on SCC’s Keokuk campus.

SCC Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. David Schachtsiek says that while similar, the industrial operations maintenance skills program is not intended to serve as a replacement of SCC’s current Industrial Maintenance Technology (IMT) program.

“SCC’s IMT program goes into considerably more detail than we can cover in 10 weeks with this program. Consequently, this new training program becomes a very positive introductory addition to the more substantial course offering embedded in the IMT program.”

Schachtsiek explains that the new training program is designed to provide skills sufficient to help local employers fill many of their now-vacant entry-level positions. Those who opt for the IMT program will gain more specialized skills and in-depth understanding of mechanical and electrical processes, and be prepared to enter into more advanced positions.

Both Hinkle and Schachtsiek agree that providing short-term limited training can get people prepared for entry-level positions in demand right now. The in-depth diploma and degree programs allow students prepare for positions that require considerably higher skills and expertise.

While the program is open to anyone, the $2,500 course fee means it may not be within everyone’s reach. However, certain displaced workers may be eligible for tuition assistance through IowaWORKS or their employer.

Persons interested in learning more or to enroll in the program should contact SCC’s Center for Business at (319) 208-5375.

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