18 February 2016--
The National Park College (NPC) Industrial Technology Program hosted an open house this week in the new Industrial Technology lab at National Park College. The Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce Ambassador’s Club performed a ribbon cutting that followed remarks from Program Director William Polk, Associate Vice President for Technical Education, David Hughes, NPC President, Dr. John Hogan, and representatives from Berry Plastics.
An estimated 100 guests and community partners attended the event, including Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce President, Jim Fram, Lake Hamilton School District Superintendent, Steve Anderson, Arkansas Community Colleges Executive Director, Bill Stovall, NPC Board of Trustees Secretary, Gail Ezelle, Hot Springs Downtown Education Center Executive Director, Christi Nation, Field Representative for Congressman Bruce Westerman, Cara Cox, Manager of the Arkansas Workforce Center, Janet Edgar, representatives from College of the Ouachita’s Mechatronics program, and representatives from Berry Plastics, Sigma Supply, and Munro Shoes.
Using a federal Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) grant, the College created the Industrial Technology program, specifically tailored to help close the skills gaps of local manufacturing employers. NPC collaborated with Berry Plastics, industry champion and grant partner, to create scheduling and sequencing to accommodate employees’ work schedules and provide targeted services to ensure success. Chuck Overton, Berry Plastics Director of Maintenance Operations spoke about the impact the program has made and noted they have observed a measurable difference in their employees.
Program Director William Polk said, “We are passionate about building the workforce that Garland County needs. We have taken the time to survey employers and we believe this program is a perfect fit for our region.”
The Industrial Technology program provides the basis for a career in many fields including Fluid Power Mechanic, Controls and Automation, Technician, Multi-Craft Technician, Millwright, Sensors and Instrumentation Technician, Industrial Maintenance Mechanic and Mechatronics Technician, among others. It prepares students with the skills necessary for a variety of jobs in modern manufacturing facilities. The program provides entry-level knowledge and skills to set up, operate, maintain and repair the machines and control systems that power industry.
The 28 credit hour program of study results in a Technical Certificate in Industrial Technology and can be completed in as little as six months. All credit hours apply toward the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree in General Technology. Core technical subjects include blueprint reading, mechanical systems, fluid power, electricity, motor controls and programmable logic controllers.
NPC is located in a growing manufacturing hub, producing a diversity of products from rubber bands and bottle caps to industrial cables and lumber equipment. The College strives to meet the needs of local business and industry through workforce development and academic programs that prepare a workforce with the skills to be competitive in today’s workplace.