Los Medanos College (LMC) recently received notification that it will receive an Industry Driven Regional Collaborative grant totaling just under $600,000 for two years starting this July. The grant will support the Electrical, Electronics and Instrumentation Technician program at LMC, and is being awarded by the State Chancellor's Office for California Community Colleges.
The grant comes at a time when the program is receiving strong industry support. Industry partners have already donated $370,000 in cash to build a modular lab on campus, plus about $1 million worth of equipment for the lab. They've also been active participants in curriculum development and outreach.
The grant seemed like a very natural fit for the program, given the high level of collaboration between the college and industry on redesigning the program over the last two years, said Kiran Kamath, LMC Dean of Occupational Education. This is an excellent continuation of our collaborative work.
The Electrical and Electronic Technician (EETEC) program will prepare individuals for high-paying, high-demand careers and provide industry with a reliable supply of skilled workers. It was developed by LMC in collaboration with local industry many years ago. The curriculum was recently completely redesigned in response to the changing needs of industry and to address the needs of a greater variety of industry partners.
Founding sponsors USS POSCO Industries and Shell Martinez Refinery have contributed $170,000 each in support of lab construction. Other sponsors include Dow Chemical ($15,000), GWF Power ($15,000) and Mirant ($5,000). Additional industry partners include Tesoro, Bishop Wisecarver and Delta Diablo Water Sanitation District, and interest is growing.
Nothing would suit me more than filling our jobs from the local communities, and having a local training facility will allow us to build those skills, said Shawn Costner, maintenance manager for Shell Martinez Refinery. There are a number of our experienced technicians who will be retiring in the next few years. When you combine the hiring needs at Shell with those of other local industries, we have a good case for moving forward with this training strategy. We are very excited about the prospects and anxious to support the effort.
Los Medanos College officials anticipate breaking ground on the new EETEC classroom/lab in late spring. The 2,200-square-foot lab will begin housing classes this fall. The EETEC program will be available during the daytime in an intensive, full-time, two-year (four semester) schedule of courses. A part-time evening program is currently offered and will continue to be available. Students may select from two areas of specialization: electrical/electronic technician or instrumentation technician. The electrical specialization is designed to train electricians to maintain complex electrical automation systems used in the manufacturing and power generation industries.
For more information, visit www.losmedanos.edu/eetec or call Margaret Hertstein at 925-439-2181, ext. 3105.