The Alamo Area Academies Inc. board and the Alamo Colleges board of trustees approved addressing the emerging demand of heavy equipment technicians via a new academy track slated to begin classes in August 2014.
Holt CAT, ASCO, ROMCO, RDO, Zachry Construction, Dean Word Co., Martin Marietta and other heavy equipment dealers and construction businesses initiated a coalition with the Alamo Academies to start the fifth Academy. The new track will provide a tuition-free college pathway for high school juniors and seniors to attain industry and academic certificates that lead to solid opportunities in the job market and address critical workforce industry needs.
The heavy equipment technician curriculum will provide students with career exploration information, hands-on learning experiences, job specific training, paid internships and college credit coursework designed to assist them in making an informed career decision and to prepare them for future employment.
“One of the biggest problems for heavy equipment dealers and their customers is a shortage of qualified technicians. This new track at Alamo Academies will help supply our industry with a steady stream of technicians equipped with the skills required for entry level jobs at good wages and benefits,” said Peter John Holt, general service manager of Holt CAT.
Holt CAT hosted a consortium of heavy equipment industry businesses on Sept. 26, to discuss the new Heavy Equipment Academy and determine the new curriculum.
From this meeting, the Consortium determined that two Level I Certificates of Completion aligned to the diesel/construction equipment technology associate of applied science degree would be appropriate and will aim to meet local industry’s needs. Graduates will possess the college education credit and industry certificates, along with work experience for the high tech skill sets required by the high-demand heavy equipment industry.
“The success we have had in developing skilled employees for aerospace, manufacturing, IT and health will now be extended to a fifth academy to meet the demand for heavy equipment technicians. Area high school students now have a new option for college credit, internships and industry certificates that will prepare them for good paying, high demand jobs,” said Jim Perschbach, chairman of the Alamo Area Academies board.
The Alamo Area Academies is a national award winning not-for-profit organization that uses innovative, STEM-based instructional models. Alamo Academies works in partnership with the Alamo Colleges, San Antonio area high schools, industry and the cities of San Antonio, New Braunfels and Seguin to provide area youth with tuition-free career pathways into critical demand technical STEM occupations. The program utilizes contextualized industry-driven curriculum resulting in 94 percent of graduates entering higher education or high-wage careers in aerospace, manufacturing, information technology, health and now the heavy equipment industry starting in August 2014.
For more information, call 210/485-0811 or visit www.alamoacademies.com.