Since the beginning of my presidency, I have had a threepart vision for Hill College that changes people’s lives every day — one, to grow Hill College to be the “College of Choice,” two, to showcase Hill College as a unique and innovative institution of teaching and learning, and three, to promote student success.
Creating cutting-edge programs and having state-of-theart facilities that aim to fill high-demand industrial jobs meets all three of those goals, and allows our students to leave Hill College as marketable, employable, educated individuals.
This month, I am so excited to share about our new Industrial Maintenance Technology program, which has just wrapped up its first semester.
We had eight students enrolled in classes this spring. Several are planning to take more classes to complete the full Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree and others are working to earn certificates.
Industrial maintenance technicians are needed in every industry that uses machinery, from assembly plants to warehouses.
The Industrial Maintenance Program was developed at Hill College to respond to the local community’s critical need for a skilled workforce in partnership with the Cleburne Industrial Alliance. The Alliance was formed in 2014 to help promote programs for the welfare of the industrial and manufacturing sector, as well as the community as a whole. This partnership allows our students to network with industry leaders and creates local opportunities for employment within the Johnson County area.
Many members of the Alliance are also sharing their expertise as members of the Hill College Industrial Maintenance Advisory Committee, which utilizes years of experience to ensure our program is meeting industry needs and providing modern instruction to our students.
The AAS degree in Industrial Maintenance and various short-term certificates, which lead to this degree, provide timely skills training and education in a career field that is in demand. Because workers in this field must be cross trained in many areas of skilled labor, the courses we offer provide training in electrical, manufacturing, maintenance, machining and welding.
Industrial maintenance technicians maintain and repair factory equipment and other industrial machinery, such as conveying systems, production machinery and packaging equipment. Because industrial maintenance technicians must have a broad skill set, there is a big demand for technicians in this field in the North Central Texas region. The career is listed on the Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas’ Targeted Occupations List.
The list is based on economic indicators validated by training providers and economic developers throughout the region, including Johnson County.
Just how in demand are industrial maintenance technicians? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Texas Workforce Commission, the median salary for Industrial Machinery Mechanics in the state of Texas is $23 per hour.
In the Fort Worth-Arlington Metropolitan Area, the median salary is closer to $25 per hour, while in Central Texas workers will find a median salary of over $25 per hour. The job growth for industrial maintenance technicians is higher than other related jobs. By 2022, the national job growth rate is expected to increase by 19 percent leading to 15,250 new jobs. By 2022, these jobs are expected to grow by 42 percent leading to 2,150 new jobs in Texas.
Classes for the Industrial Maintenance program are taught in Cleburne by Program Coordinator Curtis Wells.
Wells comes to Hill College with over 20 years of community college education experience, 10 of which he worked in construction management and 12 years of teaching in the technology field. He recently joined the Hill College family as a member of our faculty to specifically develop and start the Industrial Maintenance Technology program.
The fall semester begins Aug. 21 with five courses available in this program that can be taken in the mornings, afternoons or evenings, which include basic electrical theory, introduction to industrial maintenance, machining, and welding fundamentals. In addition, due to a generous contribution by the Marti Foundation, significant scholarship funds are available to Johnson County residents who qualify. Hill College has an “open door” admissions policy, and I encourage all who might be interested to stop by and see us so we can get you started in this wonderful new career opportunity.
Pam Boehm, Ed.D., is president of Hill College.