Electromechanical Technology Success Story

 

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Heather Cochran

Heather started at Woodward Inc. in 2010 as an intern while Woodward paid her tuition for the Electro-Mechanical and Energy Technology program. Upon graduation in 2012, Heather was hired as a manufacturing specialist. She has advanced to become a team lead. Her job is to troubleshoot issues that hold up production. Heather had a 13-year career was as a journeyman electrician. When the economy got soft, jobs dried up. She found FRCC to be just what she needed. “The FRCC faculty are amazing,” she says. “I really loved the fact that they had worked in the field they were teaching.” She’s delighted to be working at Woodward. “I like troubleshooting,” she says. “I like to figure out what’s wrong and remove roadblocks to improve manufacturing processes. I feel valued as a contributor.”

 

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Randy Kechter

If you attended the 2013 Commencement, Randy was the one who hooked up electric lights to his mortarboard. Yes, Randy knows circuits and a lot more about Electro-Mechanical and Energy Technology. He’s a lab support technician for Air Resource Specialists. He calibrates and repairs air quality monitoring instruments. Randy’s first graduation from FRCC was in 1974, from the high school automotive program. He owned A&B Import Auto, selling it to work the tool side of the business. Then he came to FRCC again. “I wanted to try something different,” he says. “Electro-Mechanical and Energy Technology sounded interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed all my classes. The ones that really intrigued me were electro-mechanical and electrical-oriented. They were challenging.” Randy still keeps a hand in the automotive industry. He’s an instructor in FRCC’s Automotive Technology program.

 

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Edward "Max" Maxwell

Max brings an electrician’s experience into his classes. He’s already working as a maintenance electrician for Vestas Wind Systems. “I help maintain the quality of the equipment,” he says. “We have to work very quickly to troubleshoot and solve problems. Problems could be in the operation of a machine, or within its computer network. I work with wrenches, precision screwdrivers, computers, and other tools. You have to find the problem, fix it, and document it.” Max started with Vestas on the production side, so he learned a lot about the machinery. “I work with a really good team,” he says. “The team is smart and easy-going. It’s a great company with wonderful benefits. It’s not a job. It’s a career. It sure beats being on a ladder as a construction electrician.” Max is on track to graduate with his Associate of Applied Science degree in May 2014.


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Scott Schreiner

Scott’s internship at Woodward, a $750 million global leader in clean energy technology headquartered in Fort Collins, Colo., could be the stepping stone to a full-time slot once he earns his Associate of Applied Science Degree in Clean Energy Technology. Woodward is even picking up his FRCC tuition. That’s how much Woodward believes in clean energy, FRCC’s Clean Energy Technology Program, and in Scott. Colorado has the potential of harnessing 122 gigawatts of wind and solar energy in the next 20 years. And Scott is on the forefront. “It gives me goose bumps,” he says. “The Clean Energy Program is really diverse. It’s not just hard skills for industry, but it’s also soft skills employers will be looking for. Things like ethics. My degree in Clean Energy Technology will put me at the top. It’s flexible, it’s innovative, and it’s getting us prepared for the real work force.”