Inside JCCC – ITC (Industrial Training Center)

Inside JCCC – ITC (Industrial Training Center)


Welcome to Inside JCCC. My name is Joe Sopcich
and I’m the President here of Johnson County Community College. Inside JCCC provides you
with a behindthescenes look into what goes on in one of our over 20 buildings that we
have on 234 acres here on our campus. But what’s really important is what goes on behind
those walls. Our faculty and staff put on the best programs possible that will ensure
success for our students and help them in the classroom and beyond. So sit back and
enjoy and welcome to Inside JCCC. Welcome to Johnson County Community College.
My name is Austin Skibbie and I’m a student here. This edition of Inside JCCC takes you
through the college’s Industrial Training Center, also known as ITC. The ITC is a unique
building on the college campus. It came about when JCCC entered into a partnership with
BNSF Railway in 1986. The result is the largest railroad training facility in the country,
built on the college campus in 1988 and expanded in 1993. The building was financed through
city revenue bonds with the college assuming onethird of the cost of construction and receiving
ownership of the building after 10 years. BNSF exercises its option to lease the facilities
on a fiveyear basis. Originally intended to train only BNSF employees, the training center
over the years has come to serve other railroads, as well. As many as 14,000 railroad employees
come to JCCC each year for training from the United States and Mexico. The college was
awarded a Presidential Citation by Vice President George Bush in 1987, recognizing the partnership
as a successful model of cooperation between education and industry. In 1993 to 1994, the
college in BNSF established the National Academy of Railroad Sciences, NARS, at JCCC. Approximately
500 students are enrolled each year in credit programs leading to Associate of Applied Science
Degrees and vocational certificates in railroad electronics, railroad industrial technology
and railroad operations. Sweep. Release. My name is Terry MurphyLatta. I’m the Director
of the National Academy of Railroad Sciences. We’ve had the opportunity to work with BNSF
Railways. They use their technical expertise, along with our expertise in teaching and learning.
And so we’ve been able to work together since the mid’80s to develop a strong railroad program
and it’s renowned throughout the United States with short lines and with other class I railroads.
Our students will often get a certificate, whether that’s anywhere from four weeks to
eight weeks that they’re here in class. And then with that certificate they can build
that on to an Associate’s Degree and get their Associate’s Degree. Some students may go on
and get a Bachelor’s Degree, but we also have students that come in here with a Bachelor’s
or Master’s and just want to get that certificate so they have the skills they need to work
as a railroad conductor, welder or signalman. We have worldclass facilities. We are lucky
enough to have BNSF’s national training headquarters. It’s right here behind the glass doors. Their
labs are beyond anything that you’ve ever seen. They have locomotive engines, they have
cranes, they have electrical cabinetry that you would see in a real locomotive, so our
students are able to use those labs and to get that handson training on that equipment
that’s still safe and it’s not a piece of moving equipment, where they may or may not
be injured. So they have that opportunity to see that, to work with railroaders every
day that are out on the rail that are used to the moving side. So what they do is they
learn the skills in the classroom, they go into the labs and use the labs and then they
have an opportunity for the handson training in the real scenario. Other resources that
we have the opportunity to use, because of our partnership with BNSF, is a rail yard
and it’s about five miles west of here. There are a number of cars, I believe there are
about 15 to 20 railcars. There are live locomotives. It’s a live track, so our students actually
are kicking cars and working on a live track. And it’s close by and they’re supervised by
not only JCCC instructors, but BNSF conductors and engineers. Our students come from everywhere
and I think that’s one of the unique qualities that we have in this program. They’re from
all over the United States, Alaska, Canada, and they’re anywhere from 18 years old to
50plus years old. The job outlook is excellent. The baby boomers that are in the railroad
industry are retiring. They can retire at age 60 with 30 years of service, so the railroads
are seeing a lot of their workforce and looking at retirement or retiring, so they’re hiring
a large group of folks to go into their workforce. Right now, if you look in our building and
what we’re doing, we have two or three shifts going on all the time, so there’s a lot of
people coming in and out of the ITC. Oftentimes we hear, “I’ve always wanted to work for the
railroad and I’ve put it off,� or “My friend’s gone to this program and I want to do this,”
and we hear this time and time again, “This has changed my life, this program has changed
my life.” My name is Tim Brown. I’m an Assistant Professor
of Railroad Operations for the National Academy of Railroad Science. I’ve been in my current
position since March of 2011. Being a partnership with the BNSF Railway, we have access to their
labs. We have inclass equipment to do handson training. We also do training out into the
actual field environment, to where they can operate with all the tasks that a basic conductor
would do in their job. Our course in-house is sixweeks long and we do five of those weeks
in classroom training and one week with handson out in the field environment. The students
who enter our program are careerminded individuals. They basically come to this course as a way
to gain a competitive edge in obtaining employment with the railroads. Our students come from
all over the United States. We’ve had students as far away as Alaska come here. We just had
a student that graduated in a class previous to this one we’re in, came from New York.
And we have several local students from around the Kansas City area that attend. The way
we train our students is most of the railroad operations consist of rules and so we have
many of our classes are presentations on the operating rules, safety rules, we have rules
in air brake, train handling, so a lot of that knowledge is academic in nature because
they do have to memorize a lot of rules and regulations. Now we take it a step beyond
that when we go out to the field environment, they put many of these rules into play, actually
operating with the equipment, doing all the basic tasks that a conductor would do in a
live rail yard with locomotives and railcars. A conductor, they’re responsible for the administration
of that train. Basically on the ground making sure cars go where they need to go, picking
up cars that need to be picked up and making sure the freight arrives at its destination
without damage and on time. The job outlook is strong for conductors. It has been for
the past several years and it continues across the board with all railroads. After they get
done with their training, the six weeks initial training, they could go right out and get
a job on whatever railroad they decide to hire out for. The job outlook is looking very
good for conductors. We’re industry specific, we’re not railroad specific. We want to teach
people how to be a conductor on any railroad and so that’s what we lean toward. Now all
railroads, they have access to our students. They do apply for different railroads and
many of them go on to work for any one of the big class I railroads and even shortline
railroads. My favorite part of the job, hands down, is watching a student come to our class
the first day. They come nervous, they don’t know what to expect. Many of them have never
been around a railroad at all. And then to see them in that first day confused and then
watch them progress from day to day to day, especially when we go out to week four and
do our handson training, you start seeing the eye of the student gain that confidence
in knowing that they’re learning what we want them to learn. So that’s the most gratifying
part of this job for me. My name is Jason Mueller and I’m a teacher
here at Johnson County Community College. I started here at the college in around 2000,
for the welding program, to teach specifically to BNSF employees their specific welding criteria
that they need. Well, I’d like to state that we have 15 different welding classes that
we teach and it’s broke up into maintenance of way, building and bridges, and the mechanics,
and I’m more on the side of maintenance of way and the building and bridges. Some of
them in the maintenance of way would be our beginning classes in thermite is a big one
of those. The thermite welding class that we teach here is a specialized process that
is used to weld two railings together. And we teach the students how to line the rail,
how to gap it properly and then we put a special kit mold that’s designed for that size of
rail on there and then we go through some processes of packing it and putting it up
there together and so forth and then we have a thematic charge that fits in what is called
a crucible. And a crucible is a pot that is degradable after it’s used and we put this
charge of iron oxide and aluminum and it creates a thermic reaction and then it turns to liquefied
steel and it pours down into the mold. After the liquid steel has poured down into the
molds, there is predetermined time that we wait and we do a teardown process where we
start dismantling the jackets, break the molds off. After that time is done, then we have
to sheer the head of the riser off and then do a grinding process. So it’s far more detailed
than what people think of just a bunch of sparks and smoke. Well, the training here
at the college is we do nine and a half days, basically two weeks that they come in from
7:30 to 4:30, or all day long. And that is just part of their training that they have
to do to learn thermite. Then they have to go out on the track and perform welds under
supervision to become qualified. That may take you several weeks out there after they
get done with the class or months to get trained. But when they leave here, they have a good
understanding of what they’re going to do and perform certain welds out there underneath
supervision. On the other classes that we have, everything we have basically on the
welding side is handson. We have a lot of lecture involved in beginning classes and
then we go out into labs, like you see here, you’re looking around possibly, and we do
handson welding. It’s very intense, fastpaced training, which seems to work very well for
these people and it� they get it accomplished pretty quickly. We have a range of beginning
classes all the way up to advanced welding such as our structure side, or B&B to weld
on the bridges, and so forth. When a student comes here and he starts in a beginning class
such it used to be elements, he would go through element basic, rail switch point, frog and
thermite. And it may take him several years to get back here through all those classes
or there might be they’d go through it rather quickly, because got to come off work to come
here. They’re being paid to be here. They’re on the job while they’re here. This is a unique
place and the labs that we have are specific for what we do and this facility, as far as
I know, there’s no other facility like it around in the United States that does the
training that we do at the capacity that we do and intensity level that we do it at on
this grand of scale and in partnership with the college here has worked out real well.
And all of the instructors are college employees that are teaching to BNSF employees. I’m John Barnes. I’m an instructor at Johnson
County Community College. I teach welding for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.
And I’ve been doing this since around 1992. Typically the first day is all classrooms,
so we’re in there for eight hours, the first day. And then we start dividing it up between
classroom and shop and by the second week of the program, it’s mostly shop work, just
a little bit of review from what we did in the book from the first week. Have a variety
of students that come in all the way from people who have never struck an arc before
to people who have been welding 20 and 30 years. We start them all out in a beginning
class, assume they know nothing and we get to more advanced classes, probably as we get
into the advanced classes, we’re specifically getting into the railroad regulations, both
from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and the Federal Railroad Administration. Its enjoyable
teaching the railroad employees, you have very few problems. People are here to learn,
it�s part of their job. They’re serious about it, that make its real enjoyable and
the variety of people. Most of them are here because the company requires them to come
for training. They’re good� a lot of them are good welder when is they come in, but
we tend to finetune, make them better. And the technical side of it, the stuff out of
the book, that’s when light bulbs start going on, so they understand how the electricity
works, how the metallurgy works, what volts, amps and watts are. It all comes together
when you get out in the lab. We don’t fit the normal mold. When you teach nine hours
a day for two weeks and do three credit hour classes in two weeks, that’s amazing. You
just cram it all in and then you spread it out. They like to get them through in a threeyear
period, that’s the goal of the company now is to get analysis and get everybody trained
in the first three years they’re on the job. ITC also houses the college’s own computerassisted
drafting, electronics technology and engineering technology programs. Student there work on
uptodate equipment, learning from faculty, who are well versed in what the business and
industry need. My name is Jonathan Miller. I’m a Chair and
Professor of Architecture here at Johnson County Community College. JCCC’s architecture
program actually started back in 1994, so we’ve been here for some time now. We’ve developed
a lot of good relationships with other universities and we offer a very wide curriculum of courses.
It’s not just about architecture. Within the field of architecture, it’s so broad. Things
like architecture obviously, but they can also go into urban planning, which is planning
of cities and whole developments in those kind of urban cores. They can also do environmental
design, most people know that as interior design, but environmental design dealing with
a whole atmosphere of basically where we live and work every day typically inside, not just
the exterior building elements tend to think about. Construction management, how do buildings
get built, you know, as a designer, you have to understand what happens in those processes
and just design itself. A lot of people used to think of that as industrial design, nowadays
that’s just called design, but it’s literally designing and interacting with every element
that we on a daily basis and our students have experiences in all those areas within
our curriculum. The classes here in architecture at JCCC are really geared around three basic
principles. The first one is just studio classes, that’s where they design, they make, they
build, kind of that handson class atmosphere. The other classes are in architectural history
and design, that gives students a really well rounded program approach to past history,
culture, society and just the building environment in general. The other types of courses are
dealing with actually architecture today, what are professionals doing, what are actual
architects, what are designs actually doing out in the modern practice of architecture.
Classes around in the architecture program are offered pretty much every day of the week,
night classes, day classes, all throughout the week to really accommodate the students’
schedules. The faculty within the architecture program have a very diverse background. Some
of them are actually practicing architects, some are them are designers, some of them
are fulltime professors. We also instill within our program visiting professors and visiting
professionals, as well. The classes within the architecture program are very unique in
themselves. In one class, the students actually go out into the neighborhoods of Kansas City
and see what they can find, learn some history, develop what the culture is around Kansas
City. Other things that the students have access to within the architecture department
are things like a CAD lab, things like other multimedia sources. They can check out their
own laptops. We have digital cameras if they’re ready. We have printers, online printers and
digital atmosphere and scanners. So students have a wide array of equipment they can use
also. The classes within the architecture program generally are small, around 15 to
20. We like to keep that size so a real relationship develops between the professors and the students
and with our handson approach that really enhances the classes themselves. Our students
are really master builders, once they achieve that career status. Architects literally design
the world itself. Our architecture students are prepared to succeed in design and really
at the most basic critical element, that’s to transfer to a major university. Our students
have a very high success rate in completing those degrees afterwards. We really encourage
our students to think big. We want them to think global, not just what they know around
here, but literally go out to the world and succeed in the world of design and architecture.
What I like the most about teaching here at JCCC is just the students themselves. They’re
so interactive. When I was a partner in the architectural firm, you tend to get a little
bit static because it’s the same projects that come down the pike. And here the students
really challenge you. They’re asking you different questions every day. There is real interplay.
I still get to interact with professionals on a daily basis and of course, a lot of people
say, you teach for the summers, so I travel a lot with the other professors in the program.
And so again, we get to get out and see what is going on in the experience those for our
students and bring those back into the classroom. My name is Robert Dye and I’m Assistant Professor
here at Johnson County Community College and I teach in the construction management program.
Our course work here is largely based on industry standards. We do tie in with a lot of outside
certification organizations to make sure that our students are learning is relevant to what
they’re going to be practicing when they enter the workforce. We’ve recently had approval
from the state for our twoyear Associate Degree in construction management, so that’s new
at Johnson County Community College. The construction management program here at Johnson County
Community College prepares students to work for commercial construction companies primarily.
Some of our courses are hybrid courses, meaning that they have a classroom component, as well
as an online component, but all of our classes do have an online component. We think that
is important because that’s how construction work is done these days. A large part of it
is collaboration online and we want our students to be comfortable in that environment. The
faculty in the construction management department here all have a relevant degree, a fouryear
degree in construction science or architecture or engineering. In addition, they have extensive
work experience, in other words, they’ve been in the industry practicing what we’re teaching
in the class and so that brings in some realworld applications to what we’re talking about,
either in the textbook or in the presentations in the classes. All of our classes in the
construction management program are limited, typically to only 18 students, so it’s a very
small group, particularly as compared to a big fouryear university, where they have huge
lecture halls, so that works well in that the students and the professors get to know
each other and can work together and that’s conducive to a good learning environment.
Some of the other topics that are drawn into our program, of course, are auto CAD and building
information modeling, BIM. Those are prevalent in our industry today and projected to keep
growing, so those are important concepts for our students. The students that we have in
our program here come from three basic kind of broad groups. One set would be recent high
school graduates. They may not have any construction experience, but they’re continuing on with
their formal education. They may be coming here for a certificate or a twoyear degree,
or they may be preparing to go on to a fouryear university. The second group that we have
are people who are already working in the industry. The third group are just career
changers, they’re people that are in the real estate business or whatever, and they’ve decided,
I need to know more about construction or I want to learn about how to buy and flip
properties or whatever. Some people come in from business management courses, some people
come in from the electric program, or whatever, so we do have a third group of people that
are interested in it, but in kind of a tangential way. The students are great. They come here
with their intentional, they know what they’re doing, they know where they’re going and they’re
very excited about it. I sometimes joke that those of us in the construction industry are
the most optimistic people in the world because we always know the next job is going to be
the next one and I think our students are that, they’re really dedicated. I’m Susan Johnson, I’m the Department Chair
and Professor of Engineers here at Johnson County Community College. Engineering is a
science and it’s also a little bit of an art. Engineers need to be able to look at a situation,
figure out if there’s a problem and if there’s a problem, figure out a process to solve that
problem and then to solve the problem. So whether it’s in civil engineering or mechanical
engineering or electrical engineering, it’s all about identifying problems and solving
them. The engineering program here at Johnson County Community College is a transfer program,
so students who desire to become a licensed professional engineer need to have a fouryear
engineering degree. Students can come here for the first year or two of that four years
and get their basic classes. Transferring engineering courses from Johnson County Community
College to any fouryear engineering college is very important to us here at the college
and we want students to be able to transfer the classes they take. We’ve worked with area
engineering colleges, mostly with Kansas State University, the University of Kansas and Wichita
State University and even with Missouri colleges, also, to ensure that the classes that students
take here at the college, at Johnson County Community College, will transfer in those
engineering programs. If a student plans on working as a licensed professional engineer,
a fouryear Bachelor of Science in Engineering is required. There’s actually a number of
two year degrees that you can get at Johnson County Community College that are engineering
related. A couple of the ones that I can think of are the CAD drafting and design program,
that prepares a student to work in an engineering design firm. They work right alongside the
engineers as an engineering technician. We also have twoyear programs in information
technology and computer science areas, if you’re more interested in the computer area,
rather than the design area. The classes in the engineering program here are fairly small,
many of the classes have 20 or less students. We don’t have large lecture halls with freshmen
math classes and freshmen science classes that you might see at larger universities.
Typically by the second week of the class, most of your instructors will know your name.
Johnson County Community College has a great Honors Program. It’s for those students that
are high achieving, you need to have an Act composite score of 25 or above and a high
school GPA of 3.5 or above. But if you meet those criteria, then we have a dynamic program
for our Honors students. You get to meet oneonone with faculty. You work with other really high
achieving students and oftentimes the credits that you earn through the Honors Program will
transfer to a fouryear university into their honors program. Here on campus, we have over 75 student organizations
that students can be involved with. For engineering students, they might be interested in our
engineering club or the academic quiz bowl team. I definitely like interacting with the
students. I love to see new students come, they’re so excited about engineering. They
want to be engineers. They want to get out in the world and solve those problems and
I am here to help them, that’s my sole purpose of being here. I’m Damon Feuerborn. I’m an instructor here
in the drafting department at Johnson County Community College. Our program here at Johnson
County Community College really prepares a student for a drafting technician position
at engineering, architecture, civil firms. We use a state of the art lab to teach various
software packages that will do markups for drawings and create drawings and create detailed
items that are used in construction. Our classes here at Johnson County Community College are
most of them are lecture labbased classes, where the student is gaining lecture information,
while the instructor is present, and even in that same classroom setting, the lecture
ends and it becomes a labbased class, but the instructor is always present with the
student to� at that time give oneonone instruction, if needed, based on the lecture material or
the labs being done at that time. We offer CAD classes all year, we have summer offerings
of certain classes, we have fall and spring offerings of classes, some classes only offered
in the spring and some classes only offered in the fall. We offer classes in the evening,
we offer classes on the weekend, so we try to tailor our class offerings to get the industry
professional that has a fulltime job, have them have an available class to take to help
out, as well as the typical daytime student, we have classes for them, as well. Our drafting
faculty here at the college are all highly skilled and they are very knowledgeable about
the subjects they teach. They really have a desire to help the student learn. They really
take time out of their busy schedules to focus on the students� needs and if the student
has a desire to learn more, they really want to help the student. They have industry connections
with industry professionals that are relating class and it’s� all instructors in the class
are really studentcentered to help the student get what they need. Our class sizes here at
the college in the drafting department are anywhere between 10 and 20 students. But even
at 20 students, we have a very low teachertostudent ratio. So as well as the two stateoftheart
CAD labs, that we keep up to date with software, we always stay uptodate with the current software
so any student completing the program will be fully capable and ready to jump right into
a profession and not feel that they’re displaced with the software they’re using. We also have
a variety of output devices that the students are capable and able to use. We have a 3D
printer, where they are able to create 3D models on a computer and output those and
test those for tolerances and design flaws and things of that nature. And so that’s getting
to be really big right now that threedimensional output type of thing. We of course have the
largescale plotters that can do E size sheets so we can output that. And that’s really our
focus here with the program is getting the student able to output those technical drawings
and output those devices that are used in industry. So our graduates are really prepared
to enter manufacturing firms and construction firms at a technician level and really go
into those firms with wide range of knowledge that will help them be successful. My favorite
thing about being Professor here in the drafting department at Johnson County Community College
is working oneonone with a student and seeing that student progress through the program
and eventually, hopefully, get that job that they’re here for and seeing that look on the
student�s face is really gratifying to me. Hi, I’m Chip Cody. I’m Chair of the Electronics
Program here at Johnson County Community College. The electronics program here at Johnson County
Community College has several parts, the most important is a twoyear Associate of Applied
Sciences Degree, which covers a wide range of topics, analog and digital electronics.
We have a few specialized certificates, more on the one to two semester timeframe, such
thing as industrial electronics like we teach in this lab, computer repair, communication
systems. The classes are primarily offered in the fall and spring semester. We have a
rotation system so students can work their way through a twoyear degree in about four
semesters. We typically have a reduced offering in the summer for a few students that want
to come, but generally, you would be taking over a four quarter or four semester timeframe,
two years approximately. Most of our students expect to go out and work in the field as
some type of technician, either troubleshooting and repairing equipment, installing it, maintaining
it. A few of our students get more involved in the sales and service type of thing, where
they represent a company selling and promoting equipment, but the company wants the person
to have good technical background to work with. We’ve had people work for both private
and governmental bodies, so wide range, big field. The classes that we offer here at JCCC
range from the very basic to the very advanced. All of them are a mixture of theory, handson
combination. The theory will typically be lecture discussion groups on how things work.
The handson done in labs like this, where the student gets the chance to work with actual
equipment, build systems and troubleshoot systems, install systems, just like they’d
be doing out in the field. To keep our programs up to date, we do a number of things. First
of all, everybody in my program, like me, is a major nerd. We like this stuff, we like
gadgets, new things, we’re constantly wondering how new things work. Electronics faculty here
is something I’m very proud of. We have quite a mixture of skill levels, experience and
so on. We have a few fulltime professors and several adjuncts, parttime professors, who
work with us. One of the things that I’m most proud of is everybody that teaches here, anybody
that we’re willing to hire either has or is still working in the field of electronics.
We don’t have anybody who’s simply taught electronics in school and never worked as
a technician or installer. The kinds of students we get here at JCCC is wide range, being a
community college. I have students still in high school, taking some of my classes, they
are in the College Now Program and so on. Most of my students get their recent high
school graduates, we get a number of people who are working in the field and need to come
back and update skills and so on. We get retirees in our Brown and Gold Program that want to
come and learn how PCs work or something of that nature. So in a typical class, I’ll have
students between 17 and up to 60plus, and male, female, a wide range. In addition to
our own degree, our classes are often used as support for other degrees. So, for example,
students in automotive that want to learn more about the advanced electronics in newer
cars, students over in the IT program in the Regnier Center, who want more actual PC hardware
skills will often come and use our class either as electives within their own program or just
to get additional knowledge. A tour of the college’s Industrial Training
Center gives you a glimpse at the latest technology. I hope you enjoyed the visit.

2 Comments

  • LikedGecko 315

    April 27, 2018

    That one person that disliked. Nice video anyways. 👍

    Reply
  • LikedGecko 315

    April 27, 2018

    How long does it take to become an engineer altogether and what are the education requirements and recommendations? Do you haft to be good at math?

    Reply

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