In the Pickens Technical College’s Early Childhood Education program, students are given all of the resources they need to prepare for a long career in childcare and/or early childhood education. Instructor Kim Goode’s course is designed to put students in a position to work as a teacher’s assistant in a childcare center, preschool, or elementary school. Some of the concepts that Goode teaches to her students at PTC are taught to future teachers in education courses as well. Goode helps students get their feet in the doors of daycare and early education centers like Bright Horizons with the skills they need to hit the ground running.
Bright Horizons is a national company with daycare centers located here in the Denver area. The company is a top provider of preschools and early education to kids all over the country. They need accomplished employees with experience working with kids because of the great things they strive to help children with, like nurturing every child’s unique potential, helping support families and communities where they operate, building family-friendly workplaces with employers that need their services, and creating a work environment for themselves that is diverse and all-inclusive.
Bright Horizons has four childcare centers in the Denver area. These centers love to hire recent PTC graduates from Goode’s Early Childhood Education program because they know they are being trained well for a career in this field. It wouldn’t be a PTC course without some strong, hands-on training working with children. Students in the program participate in an internship at the Kids Tech Childcare Program, sponsored by the Aurora Public School District and Pickens Tech. This allows students to interact with children and build on their classroom instruction in a real work setting.
Since the Early Childhood Education program at PTC prepares students with real on-the-job training, Bright Horizons daycare centers throughout the Denver area are eager to put recent graduates of this program to the test at their facilities. Their experience is crucial to success in the childcare industry. Bright Horizons has seen success from many of the PTC graduates they have employed over the years. Being involved with Aurora Public Schools doesn’t hurt, either.
If you’re interested in braving the germs and working with young children, check out Kim Goode’s Early Childhood Education program. Not only will you learn the basic of how to care for children in a daycare and preschool setting, you’ll also learn how to protect yourself from those runny noses and booger hands as well—a very valuable skill indeed while you gain experience watching children.
At this year’s SkillsUSA Challenge , Motorcycle Service Technology student Colton Messer won a Gold Medal and a grand prize: a brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle for Pickens Technical College’s Motorcycle Service Technology program. SkillsUSA pits students against each other in challenges of professional skill and scholastic achievement. There are many different kinds of challenges, including competitions for students trying to break into the auto industry. Messer’s performance in this year’s events brought home a new Harley Davidson and showed off all of the skills he learned in the Motorcycle Service Technology program at PTC, taught by the wise and experienced Tom Laing.
The Motorcycle Service Technology course at PTC is designed, like all PTC courses, to prepare students for a productive career. This course covers all of the basic elements of the motorcycle service and repair technology so students can go right from PTC to an entry-level position in the industry. Students like Messer learn vehicle system service and repair, engine overhaul instruction, troubleshooting, and diagnostic procedures, all steeped in a background of mechanical and electrical theory. Students can take their knowledge from this class and apply it to motorcycles of course, but also to many other mechanical and electronic work they may find themselves in.
Tom Laing, the instructor of the Motorcycle Service Technology course at PTC, (he’s not as old as I make him sound) has seventeen years’ experience teaching students how to enter the motorcycle repair industry and create successful career for themselves there. In his 16 years of experience in the industry, he has experienced all facets of operating an American and Metric motorcycle dealership, including extensive experience working as a line mechanic and service manager. He knows the motorcycle industry inside and out and prides himself on his knowledge of the bikes he sold and works on to this day. Laing is a certified technician who has worked for several American and Metric brands including Arctic Cat, Kawasaki, Harley Davidson (of course), Honda, and Yamaha. For ten years, he has helped students repair and build the best bikes. He has prepared many for lucrative careers in the motorcycle industry.
Colton Messer used his knowledge and the hands-on experience he gained in Tom Laing’s Motorcycle Service Technology class to take home a gold medal at the SkillsUSA challenge earlier this year. The brand new Harley will no-doubt help inspire a new wave of students in Laing’s class to be the best motorcycle mechanics they can by following Laing’s lead. Laing is of course extremely proud of Messer and all of his students for their achievements in and out of the classroom.
What you’ll get in the Motorcycle Service Technology program at PTC is a wide range of skills to help you in the next step in your career. And remember what Laing’s students always say: “motorcycles are way cooler than cars.”
Pickens Technical College is all about providing opportunities to students so they can enter the workforce with the skills, connections, and confidence they need to be successful in the long term. The PTC Brand Ambassador program recruits students to represent the PTC brand on social media and teaches students how to represent themselves. Denver marketing company Encite International is working with PTC to help teach students the importance of positive brand representation online and how to use that knowledge to protect their own personal brands so they can make a good impression online.
Staffed by volunteers from Encite to teach students the finer points of brand representation, including Encite President Adam O’Leary, the Brand Ambassador program is a useful way to help yourself get a job when you graduate from Pickens. You’ve heard by now from your instructors a thousand times that you should always have an eye on your career future so you’re ready for the next step. Graduation Day comes sooner than you think, and the more preparation you can do now to get yourself ready to enter the workforce, the higher on the employment ladder you’ll start when your days at Pickens are done.
Encite President Adam O’Leary explained some of principles he teaches in the class: “The #1 concern students should consider when they are interacting on social media is the way they present themselves. Social media is, of course, meant to be social, but the things they post can have long term consequences.” O’Leary also says that with 60% of employers now researching hiring candidates on Facebook “if there are posts riddled with profanities, bullying a peer or engaging in a fight, these do not present the person in a good light.”
O’Leary says that the lessons he teaches to students in the Pickens Brand Ambassador program “aren’t intended to stifle the individual’s voice, but to show them how to still engage, interact, and socialize with their social circle while still being themselves without sharing their challenges or issues that should be reserved for more personal/one-on-one conversations.” It’s all about the students and the way they choose to represent themselves and Pickens Tech. If you sign up for the Brand Ambassador program, you’ll learn how to not be that guy or girl who posts way too many personal status updates on Facebook. You’ll learn how to avoid scaring off friends and potential employers.
You already know how be yourself online. Sign up for the Brand Ambassador program at Pickens Tech to learn how to be yourself and still get a job after you graduate from Pickens by using your social media accounts smartly and sensibly. O’Leary himself has years of experience defining brands and creating smart, engaging brand identities and stories that attract customers. Attract employers by learning some of the skills that O’Leary knows at the Brand Ambassador program.
Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) is one of the many useful skills you can learn here at Pickens Technical College. If you’re like me, and you have no idea what that actually is, here’s a quick rundown of what you could be learning as a part of the Computer Aided Drafting and Design program at PTC:
- Architecture Drafting
- Mechanical Drafting
- AutoCAD, Solidworks and Revit
- 2D and 3D Printing
The Computer Aided Drafting and Design program prepares you to earn an AutoCAD certificate, which pretty much every CAD worker in the industry has as a prerequisite to employment. At the moment, PTC offers students in this program the option to earn the CAD Basic Employment Skills certificate and the Computer Aided Drafting and Design certificate. Those exciting certificates prepare you for long and prosperous careers in architectural drafting, mechanical, model building, and rendering.
Instructor Suzanne Payne prepares her students well for careers in engineering and helps them go on to the next level of education if they choose. She has sent many students into the job market to become gainfully employed. One of the most recent students to graduate from her program at PTC and move on to a good career was Tyler, who completed the CAD program and got a job at an engineering firm in Denver earning over $50,000 after two years in the industry. Another, Dan, graduated this spring and now earns $30,000 a year at a local engineering firm. She says that many of her students go on to the Community College of Aurora and the Community College of Denver and some go on to larger state schools like Metro State University, University of Colorado Denver and Colorado State University, Fort Collins.
The CAD course is “an excellent stepping stone into any engineering field.” Indeed, the course teaches students both architectural drafting and mechanical drafting skills using AutoCAD, Revit, and Solidworks 3D software, and 2D and 3D modeling printing. Payne says that “employers want entry level drafters to be proficient on the software and then they teach the employee their field of engineering.” Her class also fills a gap that many state universities have in their CAD curricula: technical software.
The bottom line is that the CAD course prepares students for careers in engineering and many other fields of work that require CAD skills, such as utilities, interior design, sign companies, kitchen layout design, estimators, and many more. This knowledge and skill set is in-demand for several industries, all with job openings in the Denver area and beyond. Payne also trains her students in the basics of how to get a job and prepare for further education, from resume workshops to interview practices. She also provides real world, service learning opportunities for her students as a part of the course. If you’re interested in learning how to be employed in a professional drafting career, sign up today.
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