The partnership between Del Mar College and the Corpus Christi Army Depot to develop the Pathways Internship Program now provides a new career path for nine individuals hired by the depot to work in the electroplating department and also receive instruction from the college.
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Del Mar and CCAD worked together to build a program that addresses employment needs for skilled workers in electroplating with on-the-job training and classroom work provided onsite.
In a nutshell, electroplaters refurbish worn aircraft components such as the transmission or rotor assembly. The interns will learn about metallurgy, general chemistry, chemical calculations, solid state devices, corrosion and safety, health and environment issues, among other subjects related to the field, as they work on aircraft serviced by the depot, including the UH-60 Black Hawk, HH-60 Pave Hawk, AH-64 Apache, CH-47 Chinook, OH-58 Kiowa Warrior and RQ-7 UAS Shadow.
After completing the one-year program, which runs through August 2015, the interns will receive a Del Mar College certificate in electroplating and the opportunity to become a full-time permanent CCAD employee.
Promoted over the summer, the College and CCAD distributed more than 250 packets, with 100 people applying for the program. The application process included candidates providing letters of reference, a letter of commitment and a drug screen.
The depot selected nine highly qualified individuals who are now working 32 hours and attending eight credit hours of classes provided by the college onsite each week. The interns’ schedules follow CCAD’s first shift Mondays through Fridays from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m., making their new career trek feel like a full-time job.
The hours the interns spend training and handling coursework are worth their time. Starting pay is $17 per hour, plus some benefits.
When asked why she applied for the program, intern Tracy Enriquez says, “I have a background in logistics and supply chain management; but when this opportunity became available, I was interested because the work is different and unlike anything I have done before.”
Enriquez notes that the program is a career change for her after working in the medical field for 19 years. “I was looking for something a little more challenging,” says the 37-year-old, adding, “I appreciate the opportunity that I have been given. My father served the Corpus Christi Army Depot for 42 years, and I am now following in his footsteps.”
“Del Mar College is dedicated to working with our partners to train the workforce they require now and in the future,” adds DMC President Dr. Mark Escamilla. “The depot seeks to fulfill its mission through well-trained, highly-skilled employees, and the college is focused on ensuring student success. Our long-standing partnership with CCAD to develop programs that address its employment needs continues to achieve those goals.”
As the largest helicopter repair facility in the world, CCAD’s mission is to extend the service life of rotary-wing aircraft and components for the Joint Warfighter. The depot provides critical support in repair, reset, recapitalization, modification and crash damage and also serves as a training ground to support active, reserve and National Guard soldiers who work alongside depot artisans to gain hands-on maintenance experience. Among CCAD’s customers are the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, U.S. Air Force, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State.
Information provided by Melinda Eddleman, Del Mar College
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