Spokane Community College’s Colville Center has partnered with the local manufacturing industry and school district to bring a new program to the area beginning fall 2019.
The Industrial and Manufacturing Technology Program will address local industry’s need for skilled workers. The project has been awarded $119,961 from the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) to buy new equipment and develop curriculum.
SCC is partnering with the Colville School District to offer the program as dual credit so students can earn both high school and college credit while gaining the skills needed to enter into local manufacturing. The program was created in collaboration with the Timber Products Manufacturers Association and employers such as Vaagen Brothers Lumber, Boise Cascade, Colmac Coil and Hewes Craft.
“Colville manufacturers have job openings that they cannot fill. Vaagen’s currently has almost a dozen openings, several of which have been open for over a year. Hewes Craft and Boise Cascade each have several openings. In a community the size of Colville, that is a lot of living wage jobs that are vacant because they can’t find skilled people to fill them,” said Jaclyn Jacot, dean of extended learning and workforce initiatives for SCC.
“The new Industrial and Manufacturing Technology Program provided by SCC is a great asset to the region. SCC is working hard to understand local employers’ needs and incorporate them into the program,” said Kinsey Coots, district planner for the Tri County Economic Development District. “After completing this program, students will have the basic skills and education to successfully start their careers. We are excited to work with the SCC on developing this program and witness the positive impact it will have on the regional economy.”
Some of the funds from the SBCTC workforce development grant will be used to purchase a hydraulic trainer, which will teach students how to operate, program and troubleshoot hydraulic and pneumatic equipment in manufacturing settings.
“It is exciting to see partnerships that provide positive outcomes for our community,” said Pete Lewis, superintendent of the Colville School District. “Working together and leveraging resources, the Colville community benefits with the creation of an industrial and manufacturing program at Spokane Community College’s Colville Center that will produce quality workers for jobs in the area. Businesses and families benefit. Our students are beginning to see the pathway to living wage jobs in our community. It has been a pleasure to partner with Jaclyn and her team at the community college.”
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