ASHLAND, Ky. — Training on equipment to be used at the Braidy Industries aluminum mill — slated for construction at EastPark — will be a major component of a new degree program at Ashland Community and Technical College.
Students who complete the program and meet other requirements will then have a chance at one of the more than 500 job openings projected for the mill upon opening in 2020.
Classes will be highly computerized and will use simulators on which students will learn how to operate the plant’s machinery, dean of academic affairs Nicole Griffith-Green said.
Completion of the program will require 60 credit hours, the equivalent of four semesters, and students will earn associates’ degrees in applied science, she said.
The advanced integrated technology program is not entirely new; ACTC used a program currently offered at Madisonville Community College as a template and added components specific to Braidy needs, Griffith-Green said.
Electronics, robotics and logistics are among program components. Students also will take general educational courses and a slate of electives including workplace safety, welding and industrial computer programming.
The simulators and other equipment are supplied under a $1 million state grant that also will fund hiring of a full-time coordinator and two part-time faculty members. The coordinator, Mike Tackett, has been hired and one of the part-timers also has been hired. Current faculty members will teach some courses, Griffith-Green said.
The grant will keep the program running for two years, after which ACTC expects tuition to keep it going, she said.