Posts Tagged ‘Riverland Community College’

Help Wanted: Industrial Maintenance Technicians

Friday, January 6th, 2012

maintenance technician

A recent New York Times article offers some hopeful economic news, reporting that “for the first time in many years, manufacturing stands out as an area of strength in the American economy.” According to a December 2011 report from the Institute for Supply Management, manufacturing grew at its fastest pace in six months, and as the New York Times story goes on to say, “When the Labor Department reports December employment numbers on Friday, it is expected that manufacturing companies will have added jobs in two consecutive years. Until last year, there had not been a single year when manufacturing employment rose since 1997.”

And that, in turn, is great news for industrial maintenance technicians – the people who literally keep things running in manufacturing.

Think about it: Without smooth-running machines, there would be no manufacturing industry. And without industrial maintenance technicians, there would be no guarantees that machines would run smoothly. Whether it’s repairing pumps, fine-tuning motors, or doing preventative maintenance on engines and conveyor belts, industrial maintenance technicians play key roles in helping manufacturers gain efficiency and control costs.

If you’re mechanically inclined and enjoy working on a wide variety of different projects or if you’ve ever been called a “jack of all trades,” this might be a career path to consider.

Here’s a look at what’s included in a few of the numerous industrial maintenance training programs available at community colleges around the country:

The Advanced Integrated Technology program that ATETV visited this week at Madisonville Community College in Kentucky offers a specialized Multi-Skilled Industrial Technician training option, leading to an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree. The program is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed for jobs in both the manufacturing and industrial sectors, and provides training that will enable graduates to perform a variety of different tasks previously performed by a number of field-specific technicians.

At Minnesota’s Riverland Community College, the Industrial Maintenance & Mechanics program students receive training in the maintenance and repair of industrial equipment including operation of lathes, mills, drills and small tools used for machine repair. According to the school’s website, programs focus on hydraulics, pneumatics, piping, sheet metal, electrical, bearings and seals, blueprint reading, preventative/predictive maintenance, safety and welding.

At Kilgore College in Texas, the Industrial Maintenance Program offers associate of applied science degrees as well as certificates of completion for careers in the industrial workforce. Launched in August 2008 at the request of local industry, the program today offers training that will lead to careers in large manufacturing companies as well as industrial machinery and maintenance technology.

The Industrial Maintenance Technician Certificate Program at Ohio’s Sinclair Community College provides students with training and skills needed to install, maintain and troubleshoot modern industrial machinery. Based within the college’s Automation and Control Technology Department, the program teaches students to solve practical maintenance problems as well as providing instruction in reading and interpreting mechanical drawings and interpreting maintenance publications.