Washburn Tech Electrical Technology Students Up to Code

April 20, 2016

Kelvin Woodland’s 29 Electrical Technology students at Washburn Tech hit a statewide milestone when the entire class earned International Code Council (ICC) certificates. They became the first college in Kansas to complete ICC’s technical training program and obtain certificates.

“Our 100 percent pass rate is a testament to the hard work of our students,” said Kelvin Woodland, instructor, Electrical Technology, Washburn Tech. “They have the knowledge and understanding of an electrical apprentice. Employers are reassured they have work-ready skills and understand the importance of safety in the workplace.”

Rod Haney of Winfield was the president of Heart of America Chapter of ICC that brought the ICC technical training program to Woodland and other technical faculty at Washburn Tech. Haney said the addition of ICC instruction to the college’s electrical technology program gives the students a wider scope of expertise as they enter the workplace or seek additional college instruction.

“The ICC course is a value-added benefit to any construction technical training at the college level and even at the high school level,” Haney said. “It provides a strong background in construction codes and gives students insight not only on how to build, but why building standards are important to safety and integrity of the built environment.”

Jim Ellwood, who works with high schools and technical colleges on behalf of ICC, said a fast-growing number of classrooms are discovering advantages for students by adding the ICC technical training program to their curriculum.

“When these students graduate and enter the workplace, they’re running at least a year or two above their peers with a comprehensive knowledge of construction codes,” Ellwood said. “They make a much more valuable new hire for contractors and these students have new insights which can inspire them to become building inspectors or seek degrees in engineering and architecture.

“It really provides an edge they otherwise would probably not have.”

Ebony Humphrey, who completes the Electrical Technology program this spring, said the more certifications she has upon graduation, the better. “This is a great career which presents good opportunities and good pay,” Humphrey said. “Through my accomplishments at Washburn Tech, I try to teach my daughter that a woman can do a man’s job. It is challenging but rewarding at the same time.”

Josh Martin, who also graduates from the program in May, sees Electrical Technology as his connection to a better life. “I’m really glad I got into this field because I enjoy it. It is hands-on and challenging plus I believe I’m leaving Washburn Tech with a good understanding of this field and I’m excited about finding my place in it.”

Haney said there will soon become a very large and growing number of building inspector and related positions coming open in the next decade.

“As the Baby Boom Generation enters retirement, we will see a massive opportunity open up for these professional positions in state and local governments, not only in Kansas, but also across the United States,” Haney said. “The ICC technical training program for high schools and technical colleges give students an inside track to pursue good-paying positions in the world of building and safety codes.”