JCC-Warren OK’d for training grant

Jamestown Community College’s Warren Center has been approved by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) for training through JCC’s machine tool technology and welding technology certificate programs.

The Pennsylvania Targeted Industry Program (PA-TIP) provides awards up to the equivalent of the maximum state grant award or 75 percent of a student’s allowable cost, whichever is less. Awards can be used to cover costs such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, and a living expense allowance.

Students may take some general degree requirement courses for the certificates at JCC’s Warren Center, located on Warren State Hospital grounds. Core courses required for the certificates will be completed at JCC’s Manufacturing Technology Institute (MTI) in Jamestown. A limited number of required courses may also be available online.

Manufacturing employers in Pennsylvania relate a “staggering gap of available skilled workers,” according to a study released last summer by the Governor’s Manufacturing Advisory Council and Team PA Foundation. Eighty-two percent of manufacturers reported a “serious or moderate skill gap in their employees” and 74 percent related that the skills gap has impacted capabilities to expand.

“JCC’s certificate and degree programs have been well received among the region’s employers for locating qualified candidates and for upgrading existing workers’ skills,” said Mike Weaver, JCC’s director of engineering science and technology. “Students are securing good jobs with the hands-on training and technical knowledge they gain through our curriculum.”

JCC’s machine tool technology certificate is designed for students to gain proficiency in the operation of machine tools such as lathes, milling machines, grinders, drill presses, and precision measurement equipment. Courses include training on CNC modeling and solid modeling applicable to manufacturing careers.

The welding technology certificate provides training aligned to industry recognized standards such as the American Welding Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and American Petroleum Institute codes.

PA-TIP students must be Pennsylvania residents enrolled in a qualifying course of study at a participating school. In addition to new students, individuals who have completed a bachelor’s or graduate degree are also eligible for PA-TIP awards.

To apply, individuals must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which can be accessed at www.fafsa.ed.gov, and a PA-TIP application, available at PHEAA.org/PA-TIP. Although the application deadline is April 1, 2014, awards will be provided on a first come, first served basis until all funding has been exhausted.

Students are encouraged to make an appointment with a JCC career counselor by calling 716-338-1007. To make an appointment with a counselor who will be available at the JCC Warren Center on July 17, July 31, and Aug. 14, call 723-3577.

PA-TIP was created after PHEAA’s board of directors provided funding from PHEAA’s business earnings to support the program without using taxpayer dollars. Gov. Tom Corbett recommended the creation of the new program to assist Pennsylvania students seeking specialized training and to meet employer demand for skills in occupations in manufacturing, energy, and other industries important to the Commonwealth.

Under PA-TIP, eligible courses of study must be more than 10 weeks but less than two academic years in length. For participation requirements, employer resources, and a complete list of eligible programs of study, visit www.PHEAA.org.