WHITE CITY, Ore. – Jobs in manufacturing and engineering are often thought to require 4 year degrees, but that isn’t necessarily the case.
“In our program with a two-year degree you can be a drafter and designer, manual machinist, CNC operator, programmer, quality assurance person,” says Steve Foster, RCC’s manufacturing, engineering, technology and mechatronics department chair. “There’s a lot of different jobs you can do in a career in technical education trades that you do not have to have a bachelor’s degree for.”
RCC students can choose from a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree, a two-year Associate of Science degree program that leads directly to the Oregon Institute of Technology bachelor’s degree program in engineering, or a one-year Computer Numerical Control Technician certificate.
“With at least an extra year certificate or a two-year AA or an AAS degree, you’re really putting yourself behind the eight ball of the competition of people who are trying to get jobs,” says Jason Meyer, an RCC graduate and owner of MVC Racing. “Many times employers want to hire you with some type of background, if you don’t have experience it’s hard to get in places. This allows you to do that.”
Meyer attended RCC’s mechanics and engineering program after his company made cuts and he was laid off. What started as a simple quest to further his education turned into the start of his own company he had always dreamed about.
“I kept a notebook for years of things I had thought of that hopefully, one day, I could actually try to make them. Without knowing about Solid Works or having access to 3-D printing it really prevents you from doing a lot of stuff,” said Meyer.
Through his classes surrounding 3D printing and mechanics Meyer was able to learn a competitive skill that now enables him to create one of a kind motorcycle parts that he sells around the world.
“I 3-D print them and I might have three or four different designs,”said Meyer. “I’ll test them either on a test bench or in a test fitting, come up with the best one and turn around and sell the products on my website.”
Multiple local businesses are hiring throughout the Valley, looking for qualified applicants in mechanics, engineering, programing, design and technology fields. If you’re interested in entering the work force or are considering furthering your education you can contact RCC recruiting or stop by for a tour.