Power courses through program
As industry demand for new occupations continues to rise, so does the need for specialized training.
“We are trying to meet the needs of the industry while preparing our students to meet those needs,” Joy Crump said. Crump is an administrative specialist in Lane’s Advanced Technology Division.
The program consists of 8,000 hours of state-approved on-the-job training, related instructional credit classes and core-related training.
Norman Slater, a second-year student pursuing a plant journeyman certification, said his apprenticeship at Lane is going “extremely well.”
Slater was promoted into the program off the floor of a Cottage Grove saw mill.
“They pay for (the tuition) as long as I get an A or B,” Slater said.
A minimum of 39 core-related credits must be completed to receive a certification from the apprenticeship. These courses vary from Electrical Theory to more specialized courses such as Programmable Controllers, where students learn to program a computer to automatically follow a mechanical procedure and repeat, like cutting planks of wood.
While in his Programmable Controls class Slate learned to program a logic controller to cut even planks of wood, “this way no one has to press a button all day.”
Another student, Nick Glidewell, had begun wiring houses when he found his niche in the electrical field. Glidewell hopes to find an internship with Weyerhaeuser, a multi-purpose lumber company that operates largely out of the Pacific Northwest, and a common destination for many in the class.
Internships are a large portion of the apprenticeship’s curriculum. Students are expected to complete as many as 8,000 hours of on-the-job training before gaining certification.
The program also provides statewide transfer opportunities, laddered certificates of completion and an optional transfer path into the Oregon Institute of Technology’s Bachelor of Science program in operations management.
In order to participate in the apprentice program, students must be registered with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, and must also be accepted by the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee. Applicants must demonstrate basic arithmetic, reading and writing skills through Lane’s placement exams.