South Louisiana Community College is answering the call for a certified and well-trained workforce in the industrial electronics technology field – thanks to a $225,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. This three-year grant is a first for the college from NSF.
The grant will prepare Industrial Electronics Technology (IET) and Industrial Technology (INTC) students and faculty for the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council’s Certified Production Technicians exam. Faculty will become MSSC-authorized instructors while students will be trained in: safety, quality practices and measurement, manufacturing processes and production, and maintenance awareness.
The CPT exam is industry-recognized and accepted throughout the nation. Students must pass all four sections to earn the CPT certification.
“Graduates who possess the CPT certification will be on the cutting edge of manufacturing and production knowledge and will be one step ahead to secure job entry to the workforce,” said Darcee Bex, dean of SLCC’s STEM, Transportation, and Energy division. “The broader impact to employers includes reduced initial training and hiring costs, and increased value to industry by preparing higher quality, work-ready employees.”
SLCC IET and INTC faculty will begin work on three initiatives: course modification and implementation to include CPT curriculum, professional development for faculty to become MSSC-authorized trainers, and the establishment of ongoing advisory meetings with industry partners to increase awareness of technician industry-based credentials.
Industry experts estimate that 47 percent of all occupations in the nation will be automated in the next few decades. Technical occupations are some of the fastest growing fields, as well.
Currently, IET and INTC students are prepared in the areas of fluid power, electronics, mechanical technology, construction, and hydraulics. These students earn Technical Diplomas, Associate of Applied Science degrees in Industrial Electronics Technology, or Associate of Science degrees in Industrial Technology.
“The integrated CPT curriculum will enhance course content and strengthen our students’ skills,” said Tanya St. Julien, IET faculty and grant coordinator. She, along with fellow INTC instructor Joseph Kelly, will become MSSC-authorized instructors. “It’s also more imperative than ever to partner with business and industry so that area residents can learn local, live local, and work local.”
Funding for this grant is from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2021.