April 27, 2020
A new skilled trades degree at Delta College will prepare students to become instrumentation technicians, which is the first program of its kind to be offered in the Great Lakes Bay Region and one that is in high demand by area companies.
The electrical and instrumentation maintenance technologist program, which will be offered beginning fall 2020, was approved by Delta College’s Board of Trustees at its April 14 meeting. Students will be trained to test, calibrate, install, repair and inspect manufacturing equipment and monitoring devices.
Harvey Schneider, skilled trades manager for Delta, said the degree was developed with the help and input of local companies, including Dow Chemical Company, Dow Silicones Company, Hemlock Semiconductor Operations and Michigan Sugar Company.
“These companies need instrumentation technicians to control reactions and monitor equipment at its plants and other facilities,” said Schneider. “Many of the people working in these positions are retiring or leaving, so they approached us with a need for trained professionals in this specialty trade.”
Schneider is seeing alumni who completed their electrical apprenticeships two to five years ago sign up to return to Delta to earn this new degree.
“The two professions complement each other because there is a lot of electrical work involved in instrumentation,” he said, adding that being an electrician is not a pre-requisite – the program is open to anyone.
The program is offered as a two-year certificate or associate’s degree. Students will also learn how to perform general maintenance on equipment and design new measuring and recording equipment. Like most skilled trades, students are required to complete an apprenticeship, which is a period of training at a company that is considered full-time employment.
Registration is open for the summer and fall 2020 semesters. Online fees are waived for all new and current students, which is a $33-per-contact-hour savings.
Written by Leah Twilley, Communications Specialist.