College of DuPage Offers New Power Equipment and Technology Certificate
By Brian Kleemann
Students earning the new Power Equipment and Technology certificate at College of DuPage will gain skills to work in the outdoor power equipment industry.
Recently approved by the Illinois Community College Board, the 16-credit hour program also allows current employees to upgrade skills. Entry-level positions as small engine mechanics include work with landscape and construction companies, while positions in the outdoor power and equipment field include service technician, equipment/parts manager, compact diesel engine mechanic and generator technician.
“The demand keeps growing for people going into the small engine industry,” said Brian Clement, Instructor in the Horticulture program at College of DuPage. “Landscape companies own specialized equipment, and they are frequently calling us for students trained with these skills.”
According to the Department of Labor Statistics, employment is expected to grow in DuPage County through 2022 for small engine mechanics, 9 percent; motorboat mechanics, 9.38 percent; and motorcycle mechanics, 10.96 percent. Clement said compact diesels is a big new area requiring qualified mechanics.
Students who complete the certificate are prepared to test for Equipment and Engine Training Council (EETC) certification exams as well as the Briggs and Stratton Master Service Technician and Stihl Inc. Bronze certifications. Two faculty members belong to EETC, the largest association for the outdoor power equipment industry. COD is seeking accreditation to become the only accredited EETC community college in the state of Illinois.
Clement said John Deere & Company donated $50,000 in equipment to the College, including diesel engines.
“This field is different from mechanics who work on cars and trucks,” he said. “The new certificate will provide skilled employees to meet a growing need, whether you choose to work for a company or start your own.”
College of DuPage is an accredited community college that serves more than 28,000 students each term. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, College of DuPage will host a series of on- and off-campus events throughout the year to highlight the institution’s history and service to students and District 502 residents over the past half-century.
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