According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as many as 288,000 manufacturing jobs have been created over the last year. The industry drives more innovation than any other in the U.S., with continued advancement in automation, robotics, 3-D printing, and other technologies. Its employees also enjoy the highest job tenure in the private sector and 90% have medical benefits.
Employers are actively seeking trained workers with the skills and experience necessary to keep their state-of-the-art equipment and facilities running at full capacity. This includes local companies who make up one of the largest sectors of Cumberland County’s economy. Their 6,200 positions represent over $371 million in earnings every year. In order to keep up with this demand, Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) has created a new program, preparing the next generation for careers in this expanding industry.
First offered in 2016, FTCC’s Industrial Systems Technology program is designed to teach students to safely service, maintain, repair, and install the complex machinery of a production line. This Associate Degree in Applied Science includes both the theory and skills training needed to inspect, test, and troubleshoot a variety of industrial systems. Students are taught using trainer devices that simulate real-world equipment and common technical problems. They are required to assemble and disassemble these mechanisms to learn the inner workings and practice diagnostic and repair procedures.
The curriculum includes print reading, mechanical systems maintenance, machining or fabrication, electricity, hydraulics/pneumatics, and welding over five semesters. Upon successful completion, students will be a valuable asset to any production operation and can earn a $50,000 to $60,000 starting salary with the ability to further advance their careers.
While some participants have entered with experience, the majority have had little to no background in manufacturing before starting the course. The program also qualifies for FTCC’s High School Connections which allows juniors and seniors to dual enroll and take free college classes.
The Industrial Systems Technology program will be graduating its first two students this month. FTCC expects to have as many as ten enrolled this Spring with additional slots available. The deadline to apply for classes and financial aid is January 12.
For more information and to apply to the Industrial Systems Technology program, visit https://www.faytechcc.edu/academics/engineering-applied-technology-programs/industrial-systems-technology/.