New certificates rise at LMC

Jordyn Toscano, @Jordyn.toscano

Faculty members at Los Medanos College are currently working to implement three new non-credit courses for students.

Natalie Hannum, Dean of Workforce and Economic Development, and adjunct faculty member David Wahl have been working to develop certificates for construction pre-apprenticeships, basic drone piloting, and FLOW programs over the past year and a half.

The amount of construction apprenticeships in California is estimated to grow from 64,000 to 128,000 by 2026. With this in mind, Hannum and Wahl have established four different partnerships with school districts and the Contra Costa Building and Construction Trades Council to improve this new non-credit program as it continues to develop.

The program, entitled Construction Crafts Technology, will feature three different lecture and lab courses for enrolled students. In order to obtain the pre-apprenticeship certificate, students must complete a Multi-Craft Core Curriculum class, a 96-hour Construction Lab and a Math for Construction class.

Furthermore, David Wahl has seen the “interest of the county go big on drone technology.”

The demand for drone pilots in the East County has dramatically increased over the past few years and will continue to dramatically increase in the future.

“The commercial, non-hobbyist Unmanned Aircraft Systems fleet is forecast to grow from 42,000 at the end of 2016 to about 442,000 aircrafts by 2021, with an upside possibility of as many as 1.6 million UAS in use by 2021,” according to the Aviation and Airport Management and Services Certificate of Completion Approval Form.

Los Medanos plans on voting to implement this Basic Drone Piloting Certificate Program within the next few weeks. The course will feature three classes- Drone Pilot Test Preparation, Basic Drone Piloting, and Applied Drone Piloting. LMC has already looked into partnering with Buchannan Fields and the Byron AIrport for the program.

“We may be asking employees from those piloting companies to come in and work with us,” said LMC President Bob Kratochvil.

LMC is also developing a plan to implement a Forklift, Logistics, Operations and Warehouse (FLOW) Certification Course for those interested in industrial and economic development.

The demand for such a program is past due, as there are already multiple initiatives that have a need for warehouse and logistics career training in the East County.

“Workforce development needs to be recognized as they’re evolving,” said Hannum. “I can see it as a fully-fledged program in two years with a full staff.”

The certification course, entitled Logistics and Material Transportation, will encompass three different non-credit classes: Warehouse Operations, Forklift Operation and OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Occupational Safety. 

“They’re going to be able to build things from tiny houses to luxury dog houses,” said Wahl. 

All three of these programs are currently in the approval process at LMC. Each non-credit certificate program already has funds allocated for it, and the courses will remain completely free for students enrolled.

“The financial faculty will get paid at the same rate as credit-bearing courses as well,” according to the FTES.

Faculty is also in the process of creating a non-credit College Preparation and Counseling program. The goal of this program is to assist students who are either new to college, or who may need some guidance in regards to time management, personal decision making and critical thinking. This course will be run by Counseling staff members Camille Santana and Trinidad Zavala at LMC.

While these four courses have not been approved yet, “the LMC English as a Second Language department has developed six new ‘Career Development and College Preparation Noncredit’ ESL courses and four related Certificates of Competency,” as stated in the New Instructional Program Approval Phase One.

For more information about the new non-credit ESL courses, contact ESL Chair Paula Gunder at [email protected]