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Free Tuition and Books for Pre-Employment Training

West Kentucky Community and Technical College will provide free tuition and books for special, pre-employment training in Health Physics and Industrial Maintenance. These classes will be in an accelerated format designed to allow participants to complete a certificate in a shorter period of time. The programs are made possible through the Project Nuclear Energy Workforce Systems (NEWS) grant funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. These programs will be selective entry.

Information about the application process will be presented in four informational sessions on April 21 at 10:00 am., April 25 at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm, and April 26 at 6:00 pm in room 109 of the Emerging Technology Center on the WKCTC campus.

Dr. Deborah Pape, WKCTC Vice President for Economic Development, said these programs offer a great opportunity for those who wish to obtain a credential that will allow them to increase their ability to get a job. Although these are highly competitive, selective entry programs, those who are committed and willing to work hard will really benefit, she said.

Those applying must have a high school diploma or GED. In addition, applicants will have to complete application forms, provide letters of reference, interview, and successfully complete several screen assessments. Application will be available at the informational sessions. A maximum of 25 people will be admitted to each of the cohort groups.

Successful completion of the program in Health Physics will lead to a Radiological Control Technician Certificate. Individuals working in this profession monitor nuclear safety levels in nuclear energy production and power plants. Individuals earning this certification earn an average of $15/hour as a starting wage. The curriculum for this program is highly technical and requires a specific entry level in reading, writing, and math. In addition, applicants must meet strenuous physical requirements of the job and are able to qualify for security clearance.

Those successfully completing the Radiological Control Technician Certificate will be eligible to apply for jobs at USEC plus several of the other associated companies at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant site. Jobs are also available working for companies who provide temporary technicians to nuclear sites throughout the country and nuclear plants in other states. Those completing the certificate may also continue study to achieve an Associate in Applied Science degree in Health Physics.

The second program being offered will lead to an Industrial Maintenance Electrical Technician Certificate. Individuals working in this profession provide maintenance to equipment and systems. Individuals completing this certificate will earn an average of $15/hour; this may vary depending on the organization where they are employed. This program requires work with highly technical systems and has a specific entry level requirements in reading, writing, and math.
Those earning the Industrial Maintenance Electrical Technician Certificate would typically find jobs at nuclear facilities and manufacturing facilities but are also in demand as in house maintenance for large retail and hospitality companies. Those completing this certificate may also continue study to achieve an Associate in Applied Science degree in Industrial Technology.

Classes for both certificates will start in June 2011 and continue through January 2012. All classes will be offered in the evening. Completion of these Certificates does not guarantee a job but will increase the individuals marketability. Those selected for the program must be committed to attending school up to 20 hours/week. For more information, call 270-534-3846.