MARTINSVILLE, VA – The mechatronics program at Patrick Henry Community College [PHCC] has done it again, but this year’s numbers rival any the college has seen. This is the sixth year that every mechatronics student at PHCC has passed the national certification exam which means the program has maintained a 100% certification pass rate since its inception in 2013.
This year, however, the number certifications these students have earned has exponentially grown. Since August 2018, PHCC has awarded more than 300 certifications through the National Coalition of Certification Centers [NC3]. All of these certifications were earned by the sixty students studying mechatronics at PHCC.
While studying for their associate degree, the students in this program have the opportunity to take up to nine industry certifications offered by NC3 in areas like hydraulics, pneumatics, programmable logic controllers, and robotics. When a potential employer views a resume with NC3 credentials, these credentials confirm that the applicant has the required skill competencies for the job.
Industries like Press Glass, Eastman, and Arconic all have current job openings that require Industrial Electronics Technology skills are reported to hire trained technicians regularly. Some of these students have already accepted job offers to begin working after graduation. Some have been offered a starting salary of $28 to 32 per hour.
“When our students start looking for jobs, these credentials are really going to set them apart,” says PHCC Instructor Daniel Edwards. “The certifications prove to all the local companies who are trying to hire people who have these skills that our students have what it takes. They’ve proven themselves through these national exams.”
When PHCC partnered with NC3 at the beginning of the 2018 fall semester, the college was among the first institutions in the nation to offer NC3 certifications. Starting this summer, PHCC will take the lead again by becoming one of the first institutions to offer the second level of Industry 4.0 training through NC3.
The National Coalition of Certification Centers develops and authenticates certification courses that prepare students to enter some of the nation’s fastest-growing industries. With real-time industry data the Coalition collects from a global network of industry experts, NC3 develops programs that meet current and future labor market demands.
Patrick Henry Community College, a comprehensive two-year institution, services Martinsville city as well as Patrick and Henry counties. PHCC is a top-tier leader among community colleges in areas such as athletics, technology, and unique program offerings. By providing a multitude of innovative curricula such as Motorsports, viticulture and mechatronics, PHCC is changing and lives and enriching the community it serves. PHCC is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.