Rock Valley College: Training and Credentialing in the Trades

Stenstrom Center for Career Education is the site for Rock Valley College’s career education programs. Recently, you’ve heard of the College’s efforts in providing programs for CEANCI and the high school students in the district, but in addition to providing classes for those students, the College is also providing programs for Chrysler and for others who want credentialing in the trades.

Chrysler has enlisted the services of RVC to help cross-train its workforce. Rather than have their workforce go to Detroit to receive training, the College is providing many of the training programs for them locally. In this way, their employees report to Stenstrom rather than to their workstation and spend their shift learning skills from RVC instructors. It is convenient for the worker, a cost savings for the company, and a way to add career students to programs at the Stenstrom Center.

Some of the programs offered include Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing, automation tooling, transformer feeding, welding safety, stick welding, sheet metal fabrication, brazing-cutting-soldering, carpentry and painting, pneumatics, lube fundamentals, and structural steel welding . . . to name a few.

In addition to these classes, the College received a grant for $ 750,000 to provide AMTEC Integrated Skills Technician training and certification for Chrysler and other companies. This equipment will allow an instructor to program faults in pneumatics, hydraulics, electronics, robotics, or computers on a simulated shop floor. The student has to be able to diagnose where the problem is occurring and then solve it using multiple skills they acquired from their instruction. We are one of 10 schools in the country selected for this grant, and operate in cooperation with the other colleges, under the guidance of the lead school, Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Michigan. Initially, dislocated workers will receive college credit for this training, and eventually, the equipment and instruction will be available for other credit and non-credit students.

The College will also embark on training post graduates from area high schools in a fast track CNC program this summer, resulting in NIMS credentials.

Finally, the college is working with community partners such as TechWorks at the EIGERlab to provide credentialing. We have worked together to prevent duplication, and thus to save money in the community. TechWorks provided CNC level 1 and 2, and materials-measurement and safety credentials, and is currently prepared to provide additional credentials. RVC offers set-up, programming (mill and lathe) and welding, among other credentials. The welding program allows students to receive an AWS certificate/credential, and the other TechWorks and RVC programs provide NIMS credentials. Rock Valley College is also represented on the TechWorks-RVC manufacturing advisory council.

Exciting times are ahead as Rock Valley College and our partners provide for the needs of our area manufacturers, as cost efficiently as possible. Other College programs help employees in a variety of areas, including quality training, robotics certification, leadership training, and Six Sigma. Training can be customized, and done at the workplace or at the College.

We look forward to our continued partnerships with area industries and with economic development partners and schools in these key areas. For additional information or questions, please contact us at 815-921-2191. We look forward to hearing from you.