By Morgan Brizee
The Engineering Technology Pathways program, once targeting vets, is now open to everyone. Veterans going to LPC have an opportunity to do an internship at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
It started two years ago and has helped many veterans have an easy transition from combat to civilian work while being in school. The program includes three main components of accelerated math, 10 week paid summer internship and taking a combination of engineering and welding courses.
Those that complete the program will graduate with an Associate’s degree in Engineering Technology. It was started for veterans only until the LPC veteran population was exhausted by most already being in the program.
This program is important for veterans and non-veterans alike because it prepares students for the field of engineering technology with hands on work. It also helps companies like the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and NASA fulfill job openings with students that have been interning in field.
Kelsey Watt, student support specialist, said, “Programs like this are necessary in order to ensure that community colleges are designing and facilitating degree pathways that prepare students to meet the standards of local industry.”
Bethany M. McCormick, the Diversity and Inclusion Manager at LLNL, and Todd Steffan, the Veterans First Coordinator at LPC started the program needing some students with background on engineering to fill positions by soon-to-be retirees of the lab.
McCormick said, “We started the engineering technology program in 2014 for vets because we need to hire approximately 200 mechanical technicians over the next 4 to 5 years. Vets come with lots of problem solving skills and understand how important national security is for our country.”
Steffan explained that since the program was started offering an Associate’s Degree it was required to be available to everybody. The program has its first group of veterans graduating this spring, and the first veteran and nonveteran program is going to begin fall of 2017.
During the internship students are performing various different jobs while at the lab.
McCormick said, “They may help run experiments, build new equipment, design and drafting, work on radio towers and communications work in additive manufacturing, lasers, or even on environmental related jobs.”
Tony Diaz, a veteran that did four years in the military, is in the first cohort. Diaz said he enjoyed working with LLNL and the program overall. Also that it made the transition from coming out of the service to work much easier because it is similar to what he did for the military.
Diaz said, “It’s nice to actually see the same people over and over. You guys all have the same homework. You can help everybody out, it’s really nice.”
At the end of the program, when you graduate, students have the choice of either transferring to another school to continue their studies or, if offered, have a job working for the Livermore Labs.
Steffan said, “There are those in the cohort that have decided to pursue a higher degree in Engineering and plan on transferring. The idea started with the lab, but some may go work for other organizations that are looking for the skilled graduates through this program.”
Students who are interested in the program need to contact Kelsey Watt by email at email@example.com to sign up for the Fall 2017 semester. To be qualified for the program, students must be a full time LPC student, want to get an A.S. in Engineering Technology, be eligible for Math 55 or higher and be available to work in a cohort based program while doing workshops and activities.
The deadline to apply is any time before the first day of Fall 2017 semester.