New "Stackable" Certificates and Degrees Provide Quicker Path to Manufacturing Careers

Ask a manufacturing company what they want for Christmas and they are likely to tell you more highly skilled, qualified employees.  Why? Because those employees can produce safe, quality products in a shorter amount of time.

So, you might consider John Wood Community College Santa Claus.

As part of JWCC’s collaborative work with private manufacturers in the region, new certificates and an applied Associate Degree have been created to provide quality employees to help companies maintain and grow business.

“Our new offerings provide an efficient path to careers that employers desperately want to hire people for,” David Hetzler, coordinator of manufacturing pathways, said.  “Students who have an interest in troubleshooting and mechanics will likely find themselves enjoying the courses and learning new skills needed for today’s automated manufacturing world.”

JWCC’s new offerings give employees the skills to install, service and repair valuable machines that automate production.  New equipment, and skilled operators, can allow companies to produce in minutes what used to take hours, or even days with manual processes.

“The great thing about these programs is that student can earn while they learn,” Hetzler said.  “Courses and instructors provide an environment and path to follow for students to maintain their current job while going to school.”

The new two-semester certificate program, Industrial Maintenance Technician, will provide students with a framework and basic understanding of the manufacturing process, with emphasis on safety and quality.

Graduates will be prepared to support manufacturing facilities in large industrial complexes and be eligible to take the nationally-recognized Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Certified Production Technician (MSSC-CPT) exam.

Students may continue an additional semester following completion of the Industrial Maintenance Technician certificate to earn an Industrial Maintenance Mechanic credential. The additional semester will include courses in programmable controls, industrial robotics and instrumentation.

Completion of both certificates is equivalent to three semesters of JWCC’s new four-semester applied Associate Degree in Industrial Maintenance Technology.  The final semester of the degree includes advanced coursework in precision machining, parametric modeling (computer-aided design), programmable logic controls and other requirements.  Students will also have the opportunity for an internship.

Classes begin January 13 and all programs are eligible for financial aid.  Students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible.  (Use the 12-13 application if starting courses in January; 13-14 form if interested for fall)  JWCC staff can assist with the process beginning January 2.

More information about the new offerings is available from Hetzler at 217.641.4953 or