Improving Lives by Providing Workforce Education and Job Placement

Posted By: Randal Watson on December 13, 2017

Today, we welcome Randal Watson, Instructor, Northeastern Technical College in South Carolina, one of the technical colleges that partners with Tooling U-SME to train the technology experts of the future.

Randal Watson

There is a huge demand for industrial maintenance workers in our area. Local manufacturers continue to reach out to Northeastern Technical College (NETC) to design custom curriculum, which includes online training from Tooling U-SME, and provide a career pathway for students with a direct line to jobs. And, we are working closely with the local high schools to create dual-credit programs for many job roles, including industrial maintenance, to increase the workforce pipeline for the future.

We see the impact and know we’re helping to improve the lives of our local community. There’s one story about a single mom with three girls from middle school to high school. At around 35, she decided to go back to school. She was able to enter our Apprenticeship Program and you can just imagine how important it was for her to have the flexibility of taking the Tooling U-SME online classes to get her degree. She completed the program and continues to work for that same company today.

There are many others like her as more and more companies are taking advantage of the Department of Labor (DOL) approved Apprenticeship Program. These manufacturers provide NETC with the knowledge and skill requirements, and we create a hybrid program using Tooling U-SME classes for their apprenticeships. These programs benefit our regular students as well. Apprentices become mentors to our regular students which gives them something to “aim for” – to be an apprentice themselves.

These apprentices are paid a good hourly wage with medical benefits, vacation days, full college tuition, and best of all, they get to learn on the job. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Students in our industrial maintenance program utilize Tooling U-SME classes to learn skills in:

Basic Electricity
Industrial Tools
Industrial Mechanics
Hydraulics and Pneumatics
Statistical Quality Control
Industrial Safety
Industrial Tools
Mechanical Power Applications

Students are really engaged in the program and they love using the Tooling U-SME “on-the-go” app. They appreciate the flexibility of taking online classes at home or anywhere from a mobile device and as a result do really well in the program -- so well in fact that manufacturers often offer our students jobs before they even graduate! So far, we’ve placed everyone that has come through our program.

We’re helping to improve the lives of our local community by providing strong workforce education and job placement.

We are true believers that students can earn as solid an income with a two-year degree as with a four-year degree. We want them to graduate with an associate’s degree and we help them find jobs. Local manufacturers are on-board and welcome the idea of filling their workforce pipeline. Companies like Boeing, BMW and Volvo are spring-boarding smaller companies creating an even larger demand for manufacturing.

As an instructor at Northeastern Technical College, and with a background in the Air Force, I tell my students to be a life-long learner, to be a student of every person, to learn on the job and take initiative. I teach them about the important of a good work ethic and to learn a skill – it will take them where they need to go! Many of the skills I learned in the military, I still use today, 15 years later, as a teacher.

If I had it my way, I’d tell everyone to enter the military. However, not one of them has taken my advice – but all of them have gained an excellent work ethic, a great education and job placement.

If you want to learn how to build a strong competency-based apprenticeship program, reach out to Tooling U-SME at 866.706.8665.

Tags: apprenticeship, "cell phone app", community, DOL, "dual-credit program", flexibility, hybrid, "industrial maintenance", "job placement", "life-long learners", mentors, military, "single mom", "two-year degree", "work ethic"