Two-Year College Degrees Create Pathways To Good Jobs

Two-Year College Degrees Create Pathways To Good Jobs


I’M A MAINTENANCE TECHNICIAN. I WORK ON THE MACHINES THAT PRODUCE OUR LIGHTING AT STANLEY, SO SCREW MACHINES, ALL THE ROBOTS. OUR FACILITY DOES MOST OF OUR PRODUCTION FOR HONDA. WE MAKE HEADLIGHTS AND TAILLIGHTS AND THEN WE HAVE OTHER LIGHTING, SUCH AS, LIKE THE LITTLE LIGHT THAT GOES THROUGH YOUR LICENSE PLATE. MM TROUBLESHOOTING IS ESSENTIALLY PROBLEM SOLVING, GETTING DOWN TO WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE MACHINE. WE HAVE A ROUGH IDEA OF WHAT’S GOING ON. WE ASK THE OPERATORS AND PEOPLE AROUND THE MACHINE THAT RUN IT EVERY DAY WHAT’S GOING ON. AND THEN FROM THERE, WE CAN TRACE DOWN THE PROBLEM TO WHAT EXACTLY IS HAPPENING AND WHY IT’S HAPPENING. SOMETIMES IT’S NOT RETURNING BACK TO THE ORIGINAL POSITION, SOMETIMES SOMETHING GETS STUCK. AND THEN IF IT’S A REOCCURRING PROBLEM, WE OBVIOUSLY HAVEN’T TRACED IT DOWN FAR ENOUGH. SO WE’LL GO BACK LATER AND TRY TO TROUBLESHOOT EVEN MORE AND GET TO THE ABSOLUTE ROOT CAUSE. MM THROUGH COLUMBUS STATE, WE’VE HAD OTHER GIRLS GRADUATE IN THE ELECTRO-MECHANICAL PROGRAM. I’M THE FIRST ONE THAT WENT THROUGH THE CO-OP PROGRAM AND GRADUATED WITH THE DEGREE AND THE CO-OP EXPERIENCE. SO THERE IS A LITTLE BIT MORE PRESSURE ON ME TO ACTUALLY CONTINUE AND FINISH MY CO-OP EXPERIENCE. DON’T GET DISCOURAGED. THERE’S DEFINITELY A SPOT OUT THERE FOR YOU. AND YOU JUST HAVE TO FIND OUT WHERE THAT SPOT IT. AND IF YOU HAVE AN INTEREST IN IT, GO TO ONE OF THESE TWO YEAR COLLEGE AND TAKE A COURSE OR TWO. YOU’LL FIND OUT PRETTY QUICK IF IT’S SOMETHING YOU ENJOY OR NOT. AND IF IT’S SOMETHING YOU ENJOY, YOU CAN MAKE A CAREER OUT OF IT. THERE’S SO MANY JOBS OUT THERE RIGHT NOW THAT ARE HIRING AND LOOKING FOR EMPLOYEES, ESPECIALLY IN THE CENTRAL OHIO AREA. MM>>ERICA, IT’S GREAT TO SEE YOU. WE’RE HERE A YEAR AND A HALF LATER AT STANLEY ELECTRIC, AND YOU HAVE SOME REALLY GOOD NEWS.>>I GOT A PROMOTION, SO I’M NOW A TECH II INSTEAD OF A TECH I. TECHNICIAN I IS A LOT OF FIGURING OUT WHAT’S GOING ON, AND THEN TECHNICIAN II, YOU PRETTY MUCH HAVE A GOOD IDEA OF WHAT’S GOING ON, AND THEN YOU’RE TRAINING THE TECH I’S AND HELPING THEM OUT AS THEY NEED IT. AND THEN IT JUST PROGRESSES UP THE LINE. HERE AT STANLEY, WE HAVE FIVE TECH LEVELS. SO I’M ON THE SECOND ONE. I’VE GOT SEVERAL MORE TO GO. AND THEN AS THE TECH LEVELS INCREASE, YOU GET MORE AND MORE KNOWLEDGE AND MORE AND MORE RESPONSIBILITY WITH THAT KNOWLEDGE. AND AS YOU MOVE UP WITH THE TECH LEVELS, SALARY INCREASES A LITTLE BIT EACH TIME.>>THINKING BACK ON YOUR EDUCATION, YOUR EXPERIENCE AT COLUMBUS STATE AND THE ELECTRO-MECHANICAL ENGINEERING PROGRAM, RIGHT? WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST TAKE-AWAY THAT YOU TOOK INTO THIS NEW JOB.>>THROUGH THE CO-OP PROGRAM, YOU SPEND A YEAR TAKING FULL-TIME CLASSES AT COLUMBUS STATE. IT’S EVIDENT REAL FAST IF THIS IS SOMETHING YOU’RE GOING TO LIKE OR NOT. ‘CAUSE YOU TAKE A LOT OF ENGINEERING CLASSES REALLY QUICKLY TO TRY TO GET YOU THROUGH. IT’S THREE WORK DAYS AND TWO SCHOOL DAYS, SO THAT’S FIVE DAYS A WEEK.>>AT WHAT POINT IN YOUR CO-OP EXPERIENCE WERE YOU CERTAIN “THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO”?>>TO BE HONEST, IT TOOK SEVERAL MONTHS. I WAS VERY QUESTIONING WHEN I FIRST STARTED UP AT HONDA. IT WAS IN A DEPARTMENT FULL OF MEN, AND I WORKED MOSTLY WITH GUYS THAT WERE MY DAD’S AGE, ‘CAUSE BY THE TIME THEY GET TO FIRST SHIFT, THEY HAVE TO HAVE SENIORITY. THEY SAW ME AS A KID, ‘CAUSE FOR MOST OF THEM, I WAS THEIR KIDS’ AGE. I GOT A LITTLE BIT MORE CONFIDENT WITH WHAT I WAS DOING, AND THE PEOPLE ON FIRST SHIFT STARTED TO REALLY ACCEPT THAT MORE.>>IF SOMEBODY IN YOUR FIELD, OR MAYBE THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW THEY WANT TO GO INTO THIS FIELD YET, BUT THEY’RE KIND OF INTERESTED AND THEY LIKE TO WORK WITH THEIR HANDS AND THEY’RE REALLY EXCITED ABOUT, KIND OF TINKERING WITH THINGS, LIKE YOU WERE, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THEM ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY LIKE IN THIS FIELD?>>THIS IS DEFINITELY A GROWING FIELD. YOU KNOW, WE’RE GETTING MORE AND MORE INDUSTRY IN CENTRAL OHIO. AMAZON’S MOVING. ALL SORTS OF DIFFERENT COMPANIES ARE CONVERGING. IT’S NOT JUST HONDA SUPPLIERS ANYMORE. THERE’S ALL SORTS OF FOOD AND AUTOMOTIVE. AND YOU NEED SOME EXPERIENCE TO GET YOUR FOOT IN THE DOOR OFTEN. SO, GETTING THAT DEGREE, GETTING THAT CERTIFICATE, GETTING EXPERIENCE AT A COMPANY, YOU KNOW THAT’S HELPFUL. THE CO-OP PROGRAM IS GREAT, BECAUSE IT GETS YOU YEARS EXPERIENCE WITH A VERY REPUTABLE COMPANY.>>WHAT IS IT THAT KEEPS YOU COMING TO WORK EVERY NIGHT AND KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED?>>THERE’S DEFINITELY SOME TROUBLESHOOTING AND STUFF THAT I REALLY ENJOY. I LIKE THE PROBLEM SOLVING. I LIKE LOOKING AT A SITUATION AND GOING, “OKAY, WHY ISN’T THIS WORKING? WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS?” NO DAY IS EVER THE SAME, YOU KNOW. YOU COME IN TO DIFFERENT ISSUES, YOU COME IN TO DIFFERENT PROBLEMS. AND WORKING THROUGH THOSE AND FIGURING OUT HOW TO SOLVE THEM IS REALLY FUN.>>WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS?>>I HOPE TO PROGRESS UP THE LEVELS HERE AT STANLEY. AND I’M NOT SURE WHERE I’LL BE IN FIVE YEARS, I PROBABLY WON’T BE A TECH V, BUT HOPEFULLY ABOVE A TECH II.>>ERICA, THIS HAS BEEN WONDERFUL. THANKS FOR MEETING WITH ME AGAIN A YEAR AND A HALF LATER. AND BEST OF LUCK TO YOU.>>THANK YOU. MM
>>Announcer: THIS PROGRAM IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY AMERICAN GRADUATE, GETTING TO WORK. FUNDED BY THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING. MM MM

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