WORKING ON IT
When it comes to vehicle maintenance, there’s no substitute for hands-on experience. That’s especially true when the vehicle is a Metro Transit bus that serves riders who depend on reliable transportation. In the Medium/Heavy Technology Truck program at Hennepin Technical College, internships that provide hands-on experience play a key role in preparing students for success.
“With a shortage of technicians, Metro Transit and other employers are turning to the college to help them rebuild and grow their workforce,” said HTC Instructor Dale Boyenga, who pointed out that the college has a unique approach to training. Since 1998, the college has offered a two-year, 24-month program in which students must complete 94 credits to earn an A.A.S. degree, with 33 of the credits earned through paid internships with employers such as Metro Transit.
“Metro Transit’s intern partnership with Hennepin Technical College is relatively new, but it has already yielded benefits,” said Chuck Wurzinger, assistant director of bus maintenance for Metro Transit. “One intern hired last year as a full-time technician is doing very well in his new role, and it is likely that others currently in the program will follow that path as well.”
At HTC, students spend the first half of each semester taking courses at the college and the second half of each semester on a paid internship developing the skills just learned in class. The program is overseen by Boyenga, who has been an instructor at HTC since 2000, and fellow instructor Duane Rasmussen, who joined the college in 1998. Both see the program as providing students with knowledge and skills that make a difference.
“There are significant benefits to having future technicians learn transit bus maintenance while attending related classes, and we are convinced that these technicians will be more confident than other new employees and also more productive,” concluded Wurzinger.
Working together, Hennepin Technical College and Metro Transit are helping prepare the next generation of technicians who will keep the community moving.
Last updated by jhanson : 2016-08-18 15:55:42