CROWNPOINT, N.M. - Months after the Navajo Nation extended a 30-year lease with the Four Corners Power Plant, Navajo Technical College has extended its services by partnering with the Central Consolidated School District and the Arizona Public Service (APS) company in developing a dual credit Industrial Maintenance and Operations Program.
The program is a one-year certificate course designed to prepare students in the energy field and to address the demand for industrial maintenance in the state of New Mexico. It is estimated that about 45 percent of the APS workforce will retire in the next five years, so the program will be beneficial in providing manpower to replace open positions.
"This program will really expose students to the type of work that is out there," explained Jerry Manuelito, recruiter for Navajo Tech. "It's not a clean project, but it's the most ideal situation for on-the-job training, and they get credit for it."
Students have the option of obtaining their duel credit by either participating in four hours of face-to-face instruction at the Four Corners Power Plant, Monday through Friday, or they may enroll in online courses through Navajo Tech. High school students have the additional option of obtaining their college credit through their local high school over the course of 19 weeks.
Industrial Maintenance and Operation courses will include computer based learning (CiNEt) instruction as well as hands-on learning components, where students will take various tours at different sites within the Four Corners Power Plant. The training will also have an added value, as it offers certification through the National Center for Construction Education Research (NCCER).
According to Manuelito, the program will eventually serve as feeder program to an industrial engineering program, which NTC is waiting on approval through the Higher Learning Commission.
"This is just the beginning," continued Manuelito. "It's just starting now, but there will be some changes, especially once we get our Industrial Engineering program under way. Right now we're building great relationships and everything is still developing."
Adult evening classes are also available through the Industrial Maintenance and Operations Program, where students will take part in approximately 34 days of evening classes every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 - 9:00 pm at the Four Corners Power Plant. Students in the adult evening class will gain the work experience, but will not receive college credit.
For more information, contact Jerry Manuelito of NTC at (505) 786-4182 or Tim Kienitz.
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