CHESTER – To develop the skills and knowledge needed for careers in electrical engineering technology, hands-on training using industry-standard controls is vital. Now, thanks to a $40,000 gift
from Dominion Resources, John Tyler Community College (JTCC) is able to offer its students even more opportunities to learn on state-of-the-art equipment. Through the grant, the College acquired new equipment that works in tandem with existing lab equipment, enriching students’ experiences as they study motors, electrical control systems, programmable controllers, and advanced programmable logic controls.
“You can show this in a book or a PowerPoint, and you can learn from that,” says Alan Massengill, instructor of electricity at John Tyler. “However, when you have the ability to start equipment like this up, and the students see how it works, it makes a big difference in the classroom.”
In addition to helping students practice and refine their skills, the new equipment allows Tyler to expand the number of electrical classes it offers each semester, supporting efforts to put students on a path to a state certification as journeyman electricians and preparing them for careers as commercial, industrial, and residential electricians or electrician helpers.
Partners like Dominion are crucial to Tyler’s mission and to its students. “I came to John Tyler with no experience in electricity, so I think equipment like this is really beneficial,” says Kyle Novak, a Chesterfield resident who is studying industrial electricity. “It familiarizes you with wiring, and it helps you build a strong foundation.”
“Our mission is to ensure that are students are workforce ready and to support industry needs in our area,” says Melinda Miller, interim associate dean of Engineering, Business and Public Services. “Partnerships like the one we have with Dominion connect our students with real-world experiences that help shape their skills and build a pathway to employment opportunities.”
“The JTCC Foundation is grateful to Dominion for its support of our college and our students,” says Rachel Biundo, vice president of institutional advancement at John Tyler. “Thanks to its generous gift, Dominion is helping Tyler build important bridges between education and industry that will expand the pool of credentialed electricians in our area.”
Dominion’s gift is being made through the Dominion Foundation, the company’s charitable arm. “This program creates incredible opportunities for students to acquire valuable skills they can use to start building a meaningful and rewarding career,” said Hunter Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation. “We are proud to support JTCC in this fundamental mission.”
The community will have an opportunity to see Tyler’s electricity lab in action during the college’s upcoming Modern Makers Open House Thursday, Nov. 3, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. During Modern Makers, attendees will learn about educational and career opportunities related to the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health care (STEM-H). The open house features tours of Tyler’s high-tech labs, experiences with cutting-edge simulators, hands-on activities and demonstrations, and discussions with local business and industry representatives who hire STEM-H workers. There is no charge to attend. Additional information about Modern Makers may be found at www.jtcc.edu/modernmakers.