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Hands-on experience big part of new program

30 September 2011

To make the newest program on campus as hands-on as possible, Electrical Technology Program instructor has made a multipurpose room for the students to wire and rewire. The room was wired for the first time during the month of September as a living room. It included fan outlets, phone and electrical outlets and a doorbell outside of the house.

"The students really enjoy working on the house and it gives them hands-on experience, which they will need after they graduate," said Tom Kuhn, program instructor.

This semester yet, the room will be wired as though it were a bathroom and also as a kitchen to allow students to get experience wiring all rooms in a house. During the day, the students work on the house between two and three hours a day and then have four to five hours of class time. During the year students in the program take 48 and go to school from about 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

"I like to give them as much hands-on time as possible but they have to learn what is in the book as well," Kuhn said.

Once a student completes the program they will be an apprentice for four years, after which time they can take an exam to become a journeyman and after passing that test, they can take another at anytime to become a master.

"They are really hurting for electricians," Kuhn said. "Most of them are older and wanting to retire. The last time I looked in Kansas there were 1,200 jobs available so the demand is there."

Kuhn said three companies have already spoken with the instructor at Coffeyville Community College, who the program is through, and said they had three companies saying they would take as many electricians as the schools can put out.