Not interested in a desk job, sitting in a chair staring at a computer all day? Do you like to take things apart to see how they work? Do you like to troubleshoot things that aren’t working properly and fix them? Do you like the sense of accomplishment that comes from creating and building things?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, learning a skilled trade at Kellogg Community College’s Regional Manufacturing Technology Center might be for you.
The RMTC, located at 405 Hill Brady Road in the Fort Custer Industrial Park in Battle Creek, is home to KCC’s Industrial Trades programs, as well as onsite training for local employers and apprenticeship programs and workforce training opportunities offered through the College’s Workforce Solutions Department.
Tom Longman, interim director of Industrial Trades Education, said KCC’s hands-on skilled trades programming is for anyone interested in “physical, hardworking, rewarding careers that are high wage, high demand and high skill.”
Students at the RMTC learn skills they can use to become a welder, machinist, maintenance mechanic, heating and cooling technician, electrician, pipefitter or robotics technician, among any number of other professions.
“These are just a few examples of the opportunities available,” Longman said. “You can learn various welding processes and earn certifications, learn life skills while aligning yourself for potential apprenticeship positions, learn how to be a do-it-yourselfer with tools and applied hands-on knowledge, learn how to program machinery and industrial robots, how to wire electrical circuits, how to drive a forklift.”
Longman said the campus also sees people interested in training simply as a hobby or for home ownership repair purposes.
One of the most unique aspects of training at the RMTC is that it’s “open-entry.” This means that instead of students attending traditional classes at specific times in classrooms, RMTC students complete training modules on their own time in actual training lab environments. And instead of classes that require a full semester to complete and get a grade, RMTC programs are “competency based,” meaning they can be completed in short modules that students can take as much or as little time to complete as they need.
“This means start training whenever you are ready,” Longman said. “You set your own days and times, work at your own pace and pick out specific skills that you want to learn.”