Outstanding new Electrical Utility Technology Program not available to high school students in Eastern Yavapai County; open to high school students on the West side of the County
If you want to see educational opportunity discrimination against the East side of Yavapai County at work, take a look at the new Electrical Utility Technology program based on the West side of the County at CTEC on the Prescott airport.
As you know, if you are a regular reader of this Blog, Yavapai Community College offers Career and Technical Education training at CTEC, a state-of-the-art facility. It houses courses designed to confer certificates and AAS degrees in 12 different job-training areas. One of the newest tech ed offerings is the lineworkers program.
Unfortunately, all of the CTEC programs, including the lineworker program, completely leave out high school students on the East side of the County while providing learning opportunities for high school students in the Prescott/Prescott Valley area. While both sides of the Mountain appear to point the finger of blame at each other, the real losers are high school students in Sedona and the Verde Valley who are victims of the County Community College bureaucracy, which has refused to effectively deal with the problem.
The fact that only high school students in the Prescott/Prescott Valley area have the opportunity to enroll in CTEC courses is, of course, completely unfair to the East side of the County. However, no one is doing much about it. It is a condition that has existed for years without anyone coming forward for the children of the County.
The reason for the new electrical technology programs at CTEC is clear. Over half the existing energy workforce is reaching retirement age over the next few years. Consequently, employers will need skilled workers for traditional and future energy positions. Through the efforts of the College Foundation and the College Grant Office, the Community College is a part of a 5-community college consortium in Arizona that received a $13 million dollar grant from the Department of Labor. The grant is to provide training as a coordinated effort to address Arizona’s energy industry workforce needs.
The College has used its funds to strengthen its electrical instrumentation, electronics and pre-engineering programs. It also added electrical utility lineworker training. Teaching labs including a new electrical lab at CTEC and a new lineworker and pole field lab at the Chino Valley Center have been built to provide students to put into practice in the field what they learned in the classroom.
There are 41 students enrolled in the Electrical Utility Technology program. Students will be trained in power-line installation and maintenance, overhead and underground distribution, pole climbing and tool, truck and equipment operation. A one-year Electrical Utility Certificate prepares students for apprentice-level lineworker positions. Additional education and experience can lead to employment as technicians plant operators, and skilled craftspeople.
As I said at the outset, only High School students from the West side of the County are participating in these programs.