KC Industrial Technology Program Takes Part in Career & Technical Education Month

February 19, 2018

The Kaskaskia College Industrial Technology program prepares students to work in the Automation Technology field as well as the Industrial Electricity and Industrial Technology fields.

Professor of the Industrial Technology Program, Lyle Gross says that the industrial technology program includes degrees and certificates in Industrial Technology, Industrial Electricity, and Industrial Automation. “Training includes basic electronics, hydraulics and pneumatics, industrial robotics, programmable controllers (PLCs), industrial wiring, troubleshooting, digital and solid state electronics, as well as industrial safety. Industrial Technology programs are meant to create a well-rounded technician ready to serve their employers with a wide variety of skills. Students are expected to complete weekly hands-on lab activities utilizing the same equipment they would see in industry”.

“Graduates going to work at our area manufacturers can expect to earn a minimum of $18.11 per hour or more depending on their abilities to meet the position standards. They can receive up to $29.86 per hour within five years based upon their ability to meet additional criteria”, says Gross.

Gross says that Kaskaskia continues to be contacted by employers regularly looking for students to hire. This includes many companies outside of the KC’s community college district. We receive calls from companies throughout central Illinois as well as the metro east companies looking for graduates. Our industrial partners have implemented significant technology including robots and automation. The companies in our district as well as those throughout central Illinois contact KC in search of graduates, particularly in the area of industrial automation.

Kaskaskia College continues to reinforce to the community and the KC district the urgent issue regarding the critical skills gap regarding the lack of trained labor in the vocational trades.  Gross says, “The skills gap in industrial technology is quite large. In our area, employers are typically moving existing employees into technician positions then paying for their training at KC because there aren’t enough graduates. We cannot supply a sufficient number of graduates to the area employer which forces them to award those jobs to operators and material handlers currently working for them and sending them to KC for apprentice training. KC would like to reverse this trend and be able to send new graduates out into the field to fill the demand instead of relying on industry to supply their own apprentice students”.

Professor Gross has a Bachelor of Science from SIU-Carbondale and a Masters in Science from Lindenwood University. He adds, “I graduated from SIU-Carbondale with a B.S. degree in Industrial Technology in 1991 and worked in various engineering positions until 2017. I have over 25 years of experience working for companies like General Motors and North American Lighting. I enjoy bringing actual process engineering experience to the lab activities that are part of the industrial technology program”.

In recognition of Career and Technical Education Month, Kaskaskia College will be hosting an open house at its Crisp Technology Center on February 23rd, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Please come visit our vocational trade center and we will be delighted to give you a tour of our state of the art facilities and display some of our modern technology in our newly renovated labs and classrooms.

For more information about postsecondary career and technical education programs and services at Kaskaskia College visit www.kaskaskia.edu/CareerTech or contact the college at (618) 545-3000). To learn more about statewide career and technical education initiatives throughout Illinois visit www.iccb.org/cte.

Pictured is Industrial Technology Professor Lyle Gross in center.