Advocate editorial board opinion: Educational center remains flexible for industry
By By the Advocate Editorial Board
Jan. 9, 2012 at 6:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 8, 2012 at 7:09 p.m.
WHAT IS AN INSTRUMENTATION TECHNICIAN?
Instrumentation technicians are highly skilled workers who test, certify, install, repair, inspect, maintain and help to develop complex instruments that measure and record changes in industrial environments. The process-controlled systems operated by these technicians are central to the operation of such facilities as chemical plants, canneries, food processing plants, air and water pollution control agencies, petroleum refineries, and power plants.
Source: California Occupational Guide No. 485
We were pleased to hear Victoria College is offering instrumentation classes, which were usually only offered in the fall, this semester - especially since this decision comes in response to a growing need in local industry for people equipped with this training.
This decision shows an encouraging amount of cooperation between one of our area's leading providers of education and some of the major employers of the Crossroads to improve the overall needs and economic prosperity.
"An important element of our mission as a community college is to support the employment needs of local business and industry," Victoria College President Tom Butler said. "Recently, we've been contacted by local employers telling us their needs in terms of this specific training. Our efforts to be flexible in accommodating those needs help ensure that VC's educational services produce skilled workers who are ready to work within the local economy and support these businesses."
According to Don McLain, VC's curriculum coordinator for instrumentation and electronics, petrochemical plants from across the area, including Formosa and Invista, have been recruiting graduates. They have also seen companies in the oil and gas industry recruiting program graduates, including National Oilwell Varco's M/D Totco division, various pipeline companies and Schlumberger, whose supervisor of the instrument repair facility is a Victoria College graduate. The college has even been contacted by ConocoPhillips expressing interest in recruiting program graduates.
Because of the growing demand for people trained in this specific area of expertise, VC has developed two new classes that will open for registration on Wednesday for classes beginning next week. The college is expecting a good response from both new and current students. The college also plans to offer instrumentation courses in both the fall and spring semesters as long as the demand for these skills is there.
We think this is a positive move by Victoria College that will improve not just their educational offerings, but also will bring prosperity to area economies and improve the quality of life for many people who have been working to better themselves by taking advantage of the education offered at Victoria College.
With teamwork like this between education and industry, we expect to see a growing level of success in the Crossroads.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.