Sustained growth in eastern Canadian County has spurred Canadian Valley Technology Center administration to develop new educational opportunities for prospective high school students and adults.
Industrial Automation and Robotics Technology, or iART, is one of two new programs being added in Fall 2021. Emergency Services is the other. Online enrollment is underway at cvtech.edu for the additions to the school’s El Reno Campus.
Graduates of the iART program will be prepared for jobs in the manufacturing and automation industries as electro-mechanical technicians, programmable logic controllers or as controls technicians. Area jobs best suited to an iART certification include bottlers, manufacturing facilities, warehouses and distribution centers, such as those operated by Amazon and United Parcel Service.
Potential job titles include electro-mechanical technician, programmable logic controller or controls technician. Median pay (half earn more, half less) is between $28 and $31 per hour, or between $58,350 and $65,000 per year across the various related occupations, according to information supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The program will feature an intentional focus on logistics and distribution. Curriculum will focus on students’ ability to control automated processes in an industrial setting by using programmable logic controllers (or PLCs).
Many modern companies utilize robotic conveyers and retrieval devices. Coursework and lab work will include electrical, electro-mechanical, and fluid power devices.
Carrie Spradlin, human resource manager at Niagara Bottling of Oklahoma City, believes the program is a near-perfect fit for meeting her company’s employment needs.
“With our commitment to automation throughout the plant we struggle finding qualified candidates with experience and understanding of automation used in manufacturing,” she said. “It is crucial that we have access to well-qualified candidates as most manufacturing is moving towards more automation.
“Without these skilled candidates we could not keep our lines up and running. The new programs that CV Tech is offering will give the next generation a very successful and fulfilling career path.”
The other new program, Emergency Services, will prepare people to serve as emergency responders. Curriculum will focus on criminal justice with additional emphasis on emergency medical response and fire safety.
Students will be prepped for careers as dispatchers, corrections officers and security guards. The program also serves as a foundational springboard for pursuit of a college degree for those seeking to become law enforcement officers or medical first responders, such as ambulance personnel. Many municipalities require college degrees of applicants for these jobs.
Projected job outlook for all of the aforementioned careers is above average through 2029, according to information supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job growth is no less than 5 percent for each occupation. Median pay varies for each, but security guards earn $14.29 per hour or nearly $30,000 in median wages, while police officers earn median pay of $33 per hour or $65,000 per year.
Jason Knight, a 24-year law enforcement professional in the Oklahoma City area said the new program will be a key to keeping communities safe and secure.
“As a career law enforcement and homeland security professional, I believe that it is critical that public safety entities recruit and hire only the best of the best,” Knight said. “Though many may dream of a career in public safety, only those with the required tenacity, appropriate education and strategic career development will experience success.”