Students in TJC’s new electrical/electronic controls technology program will be able to train on the latest in the field of electronics, thanks to a donation of equipment by Pico Technology.
Pico Technology, a world leader in PC-based test and data acquisition equipment, donated 12 oscilloscopes to TJC’s new technology program. The scopes and software, in combination with a laptop computer, will replace much larger and expensive oscilloscopes. The new scopes have more functionality than many of the larger scopes and will be used in graphing electronic signals.
“As a test and measurement company located in Tyler, we are ecstatic to work with the great people of TJC to help them build their new electronics program,” said Richard Boyd, Pico Technology distribution sales manager. “We, along with other area businesses such as SPEA, Cardinal Health and Luminant, have realized the need to provide a curriculum to area students to enable them to fill a great demand in the current workforce.”
On a national scale, (Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” host and TV personality) Mike Rowe and his foundation, Mike Rowe Works, are raising awareness for the need for skilled workers and educating students and parents on increasing opportunities and desire to get a technical degree.
“We want to build awareness locally,” Boyd said. “This new TJC program and this donation of equipment are the first steps in helping to make this possible.”
Beginning in Fall 2014, the new TJC program will offer an Associate of Applied Science degree as well as a certificate program. It will provide a solid foundation in basic electrical concepts, motors and control applications, and then advance to electronics, measurement and calibration, electrical codes and automated control systems.
Understanding and knowledge is developed through extensive work with equipment, including DC and AC motors, programmable logic controllers, variable-speed drive systems and computer software programs created for engineering, designing, drafting and troubleshooting.
Due to the large number of retiring skilled workers who must be replaced and an increased future demand for proficient controls technicians in the industry, employment of controls technicians is expected to increase 6 percent nationwide and 18 percent in Texas.
“Workers with college or vocational degrees will have an advantage in finding jobs, as well as more advancement opportunities in the future,” said Bryan Baker, TJC department chair of industrial trades.
“Pico’s generous donation of this equipment gives our students an even greater edge that will lead to better job opportunities.”
Boyd added that while there are extremely rewarding employment opportunities for individuals interested in the electrical/electronics control trade, Pico Techology is often forced to recruit outside the local area to fulfill its employment needs.
“With the cooperation of this TJC program, we will not only be able to provide an excellent education opportunity for local students, we will be able to keep these graduates here and employ them,” he said. “We are so passionate about this program that we wanted to ensure that the students are learning on the latest and greatest equipment – equipment that they will be able to use no matter which field they go into, from power generation applications to the oil industry.”
For more information on the TJC electrical/electronic controls technology program, go to tjc.edu/eect
Author: Elise Mullinix