Improving Lives by Providing Workforce Education and Job Placement
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.
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
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:
Hydraulics and Pneumatics
Statistical Quality Control
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.
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"