Indiana, PA - Indiana County

ICTC: Engineering Technology program proves popular

by ABIGAIL VARNER on November 16, 2012 11:00 AM

The Indiana County Technology Center (ICTC) offers 14 program areas, organized around five cluster areas.

1) Automotive Technologies includes automotive technology and collision repair technology.

2) Construction and Building Trades includes carpentry, electrical occupations, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), and masonry.

3) Information Technologies includes computer systems technology, digital media technology, and graphics and electronic media.

4) Public Service Occupations includes cosmetology, culinary arts and health occupations technology.

5) Lastly our Engineering Technologies cluster includes machining technology and welding technology. This is the cluster I would like to highlight this week.

Machining Technology (MT) is taught by Keith McCracken, who has been teaching at the ICTC for 18 years. MT is designed to provide each student with the latest technological skills needed for entry into the metalworking occupations. Students have the opportunity to operate state-of-the-art equipment, such as the Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) machine.

They also gain experience with the hands-on operation of standard machine tools used in the industry such as drill presses, metal saws, lathes, milling machines and surface grinders. Related theory acquaints students with metal cutting applications, material properties, layout work, and construction and assembly of machinery. The application of mathematics and blueprint reading is also emphasized throughout the course as an integral part of all completed projects and competencies.

The ICTC's Machining Technology program is a fully accredited NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills) training and certification site. Students will have the opportunity to achieve NIMS Level 1 machining credentials as part of the course of study for the Machining program. If students have patience and are willing to tolerate nothing less than perfection, a career in machining technology may be worth a look.

Welding has evolved into a sophisticated science and technology. Skills developed at the ICTC's Welding Technology (WT) program are immediately transferable to either a professional career as a welder or as a student enrolled at a community/ technical college, university, or other post-secondary institution.

Additionally, the curriculum provides excellent preparation for those whose career goals include becoming a welding, mechanical or metallurgical engineer. The ideal candidate for this field should have good mechanical aptitude, eye-hand coordination, imagination and excellent visualization skills.

The ICTC's WT program is certified by the American Welding Society (AWS) as an Accredited Testing Facility (ATF). The accreditation provides qualified students the opportunity to become a certified welder in accordance with the American Petroleum Institute (API) 1104 Code or the American Welding Society's D1.1 Structural Steel Code. Students may also attain a training course on a Bobcat VersaHandler Telescopic Fork Lift.

Recently both Machining and Welding Technology participated in Indiana County's manufacturing day by attending a tour at both Clark Metal Products and H&W Global Industries Inc. McCracken commented on the tours saying, "We were able to learn more about what these two companies do. At Clark Metal we learned that they do a large production of metal cabinetry and at H&W Global we learned they do the military finisher which basically means they are the ones in charge of how the product looks after it has been made."

When I asked Machining Technology senior Paul Sherry his thoughts on the tour, he replied, "It was great to see the different machines that they use, especially the ones that I hear about but haven't had the chance to experience yet. I was like a kid in the candy store." Sherry said he chose to attend the Machining Technology program because it is a great career choice. He enjoys coming to class every day and has a wonderful instructor.

If you have nothing to do tonight and would like to get ahead on your Christmas shopping or shop for yourself, be sure to join us at the first vendor fair sponsored by the Indiana Cosmetology Academy. The event will take place in the ICTC lobby from 6 to 8 p.m.

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