Advanced Technology Center – Olathe
Todd Ramsey, a long time employee of Harmon, has been a member of the Olathe Advanced Technology Center (OATC) for two years. The advisory board meets quarterly at their new state of the art facility next to Olathe North High School.
OATC is an advanced program that allows students to get hands-on experience at the facility’s lab spaces, also providing opportunity to gain on site building experience. OATC serves more than a dozen high schools in the Johnson County area and offers the following student programs: Construction Trades Technology, Welding Trades Technology, Automotive Collision Technology and Automotive Technology.
The Construction Trades Technology program is a fast paced hands-on program that gives students opportunity to work within various areas of construction through the building process. This 2 year program takes 3 hours a day and is available to students in their junior or senior year.
Points of distinction for the OATC Construction Trades Technology Program are as follows:
- Learn all aspects of residential construction from foundation to finish.
- Develop necessary skills to remodel, repair and maintain a home.
- Gain opportunities for advanced placement in a construction apprentice program.
- Participate in unique partnerships with Farmers Insurance and Heartland Habitat for Humanity.
Career Opportunities through the OATC Construction Trades Technology Program include:
- An articulation agreement with the Regional Carpenters Council and the Western Training Facility provides commercial apprenticeship opportunities in 13 skilled craft areas. Students entering a commercial apprenticeship receive preferential treatment; They also receive college credit upon completion of specific apprenticeships, approximately 30 hours of credit!
- Residential construction opportunities are available upon request, which come from area contractors representing all fields of residential construction from the foundation to the finish work.
- Become self-employed and own your own business.
At a recent advisory board meeting, Todd discussed current labor shortage issues the construction industry is facing. Gary Anderson, Construction Trades Instructor for OATC, agreed the time is now for more students to enroll in the OATC program and programs like it in order to help the labor shortage in coming years. Todd was invited back this fall to present labor shortage issues with students.
Students need to hear from someone directly affected by industry issues. “Students need to establish a good work ethic early in the program and this needs to be stressed to them when they get a job and enter the workforce,” said Gary. It should also be known that if students stick with the program, they could earn good wages throughout their career as they start filling the generational gap seen in the industry due to labor shortage.
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