Western Nevada College News & Notes: Power up workforce with manufacturing & electronics certifications

Professor Emily Howarth and Joaquin Garcia work in the AIT lab at Western Nevada College on Nov. 4, 2013.

Professor Emily Howarth and Joaquin Garcia work in the AIT lab at Western Nevada College on Nov. 4, 2013.

Want to catch the wave of Northern Nevada’s upcoming manufacturing boon? Western Nevada College offers a credential that will help make those dreams possible.

A Manufacturing Technician credential could lead to more job opportunities in Northern Nevada, especially with Tesla Motor’s gigafactory already under construction in nearby Storey County.

“The credential can be useful whether students are working in the field and want to improve their position, or want to break into manufacturing,” said WNC Electronics and Industrial Technology Professor Emily Howarth.

WNC also offers focused job skill certificates in electronics during the fall semester that starts Monday, Aug. 31. The job skills certificates prepare students for industry credentials, supporting Carson City and Carson Valley industries and employers.

“Distinguish yourself,” Howarth said. “These in-demand technical skills and high-value credentials show employers that you can do the job.”

The MT1 credential was endorsed during a joint meeting of the Carson City School District Board of Trustees and Carson City Board of Supervisors in June.

“The entire community, from the school board to the city supervisors to business leaders, are behind this effort and want students of all kinds to step forward and go for it,” Howarth said.

The Manufacturing Technician 1 credential certifies a student has learned the necessary skills expected in manufacturing positions, including basic 3D modeling skills, an understanding of computer-controlled machine programming and precision measurement skills, along with process and machine trouble-shooting, problem-solving, machine maintenance and the use of diagnostic and statistical tools.

A student who earns this credential will be able to successfully troubleshoot and solve problems beyond the scope of typical machine operators.

“We have created several flexible options to train and prepare community members to pass this exam,” Howarth said. “Students can improve their current position or become qualified for a new one in manufacturing, distribution or logistics, in one semester.”

WNC’s Manufacturing Technician program includes three classes totaling 11 units that provide hands-on exercises to build mastery of the subject. Students are expected to enroll in Applied Industrial Technology hands-on labs (AIT 155), Applied Industrial Technology Projects (AIT 200), and Fundamentals of Applied Industrial Technology (AIT 101).

“There is flexibility for attendance and completion with a personal plan created between the student and the instructor, for students who have the self-motivation and drive to work more independently,” Howarth said. “Additional day and evening hours are available outside of scheduled class hours so students can manage their work time and family obligations and still complete the coursework.”

Students may also qualify for financial assistance with tuition and fees. Contact JOIN, a nonprofit job-training agency, at 775-283-0125.

Students working toward an Industrial Electronics Technician job skills certificate need to take three four-unit courses — (AIT 101) Fundamentals of Applied Industrial Technology, (ET 131) DC for Electronics and (ET 132) AC for Electronics.

“The Industrial Electronics Technician series is taught entirely online, using a kit of components to complete lab exercises along with in-depth instructional material that students can participate in around their other life commitments,” Howarth said. “Open lab hours are also available for students to practice their skills or do class work on campus.”

In the Fundamentals of Applied Industrial Technology class, students learn the key concepts of electricity used in many applications. Mechanical concepts of basic levers and forces, friction, and pulleys and gears are introduced, as well as the fundamental operation of electric relay controls. Students will also receive an explanation of logic circuits, which are used to provide automated control of many types of machines.

The DC for Electronics 131 course introduces the fundamentals of electronics, including how to read resistor color codes, decipher capacitor values and use electronic schematics to build simple electronic devices.

Electronics 132 familiarizes student with important electronic components, their schematic symbols and how to wire circuits on a solder-less circuit board using diagrams.

The classes help provide students with some of the competencies necessary to prepare for the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians’ Associate Certified Electronics Technician (CETa) exam.

For more information, email industrialtech@wnc.edu, or call 775-445-4449.


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