New Program at Fulton Campus to Focus on Industrial Maintenance Skills

A new certificate program launching this fall at Cayuga Community College will emphasize hands-on training and prepare students for a career in the burgeoning field of manufacturing.

Available exclusively at the college’s Fulton Campus starting in the Fall 2018 semester, the Industrial Maintenance Technology Certificate program (IMT) will train students in mechanical and electrical installation and repair work, and students who complete the program will be prepared to work as a member of an industrial maintenance team.

“There’s an intense demand for skilled employees who know how to repair and troubleshoot industrial equipment, and that’s why we decided to start our new Industrial Maintenance Technology Certificate program,” said Cayuga President Brian Durant. “We developed this curriculum with a strong contribution from the local business community, and the program is a great opportunity our current and future students.”

College Chair of the Division of Natural and Health Sciences, Mathematics and Technology Christie Waters said the certificate program was developed with significant input from leading Oswego County businesses, including Novelis Corporation, Huhtamaki Corporation, and the Fulton Companies.

Leaders from those companies discussed with college officials the necessary skills for industrial maintenance technicians said Waters. Those skills included a foundation in basic electronics and manufacturing and the ability to maintain, troubleshoot and repair motors, hydraulic systems, HVAC equipment and other industrial equipment.

Students who complete the IMT program will be able to calibrate and configure process instrumentation and control, test and evaluate AC and DC motor and generator operation, and maintain, diagnose malfunctions in and repair mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical equipment.

Skills referenced by local businesses aligned with several courses already offered by the college, but also led to the development of two new courses, Industrial Maintenance Practices, and Thermal Technology. Courses and training for the new certificate program will put a premium on hands-on training, with a strong focus on preparing students for industrial maintenance work that demands the ability to troubleshoot, said Waters.

Pictured with Sullivan, from left to right, are Stephanie Hotaling, Kelsey Harroun, Brook Sherwood and Malissa Woodard.

Cayuga Community College will launch a new Industrial Mechanical Technology Certificate Program in the fall at the College’s Fulton Campus. Adjunct Professor Dennis Sullivan, pictured above with students in a physics course, said the idea for the new program started several years ago after conversations with local employers who said they were having difficulty finding local workers qualified in industrial maintenance technology. Pictured with Sullivan, from left to right, are Stephanie Hotaling, Kelsey Harroun, Brook Sherwood and Malissa Woodard.

“The key to all technology programs is that they are hands-on, and the focus is on applying the skills,” said Waters. “The focus is on training people who are able to troubleshoot, and that’s a real critical thinking skill. Only practice makes you good at that.”

Adjunct Professor Dennis Sullivan said the program will focus on “knowledge-based, hands-on problem-solving.”

Sullivan said the idea for the program started several years ago after conversations with local employers who said they were having difficulty finding local workers qualified in industrial maintenance technology.

That need tied into what Sullivan said he and others believe is the primary goal for community colleges.

“It all started with the concept that we see our purpose as a community college is to help local people train for employment,” said Sullivan. “Our intent is to give them not only the knowledge but also the hands-on training to go with the knowledge.”

Sullivan hoped the program would appeal to a wide range of students, from people already employed with local industrial companies or municipalities to current high school students or people who had yet to attend college.

Credit from the Industrial Maintenance Technology Certificate program can be applied toward an Associate of Applied Science Degree in the college’s Electrical Technology program. Waters noted that the Electrical Technology program focuses on digital electronics, while the IMT program emphasizes maintenance and repair of industrial power and equipment such as motors, motor control, and high-voltage power.

“The focus has been and always will be on troubleshooting. We know we’re preparing technicians who are going to have to troubleshoot, either during production or in industrial maintenance,” said Waters.