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What it Means To be a Manufacturer

Transportation isn’t what it used to be. With technology changing so quickly, it’s even more important to stay up to date and train on state-of-the-art, modern equipment being used in today’s industry. CLTCC has that. At CLTCC, transportation includes four programs – Certified Driver’s License, automotive technology, collision repair and outdoor power equipment. CDL and collision repair are taught at the Alexandria Main Campus. Outdoor power equipment and automotive technology are taught at the Lamar Salter Campus in Leesville. Students earn certificates or technical diplomas to become certified drivers, automotive techs, collision repair techs or outdoor power equipment techs, and instructors report shortages for each job, even in Cenla.
 

Overview of CLTCC

Central Louisiana Technical Community College is part of the Louisiana Community & Technical College System. Post-secondary technical education was established in Louisiana in 1999 by a constitutional amendment. But it wasn’t until 2012 that Central Louisiana Technical Community College as we know it today began to take shape. It became CLTCC during the regular 2012 legislative session with Act 760, which combined the six technical colleges in the region and increased course offerings.

It became a two-year public technical community college associate degrees, certificates and diplomas that prepare individuals for high-demand occupations. The school’s mission is to provide comprehensive educational programs that meet the needs of students and the community. Programs may include career and technical education and training, workforce development training, adult basic education, continuing education, general education, associate degree programs, college transfer degree programs and other educational programs and opportunities. Administration, faculty and staff remain laser-focused on meeting the workforce needs of Louisiana and the needs of students.

OUTLINE OF MANUFACTURING PROGRAM

  • CDL

    In CDL, students earn a Certified Driver's License and the opportunity to work in just about any industry. The CDL course is 240 hours, usually completed in six weeks. Students train on a state-of-the-art, new $105,000 L3 Driver Training Solutions simulator at first. After the third or fourth week, students begin driving a real truck. The program is taught at the Alexandria Main Campus.
  • Outdoor Power Equipment

    The outdoor power equipment program at the Lamar Salter Campus in Leesville teaches students to repair anything from weedeaters to motorcycles and power sports equipment. The program falls under the accrediting body Equipment and Engine Training Council and covers a wide variety. That's important in preparing students for the unexpected because you never know what's going to be brought in to be repaired when on the job.
  • Automotive Technology

    Automotive technology teaches students to go internal with repairs to a vehicle's engine, gear boxes, differentials and more. The program is offered at the Lamar Salter Campus in Leesville.
  • Collision Repair

    In collision repair students learn to do general troubleshooting and repairs to vehicles, generally sticking to the outside of the car rather than internal like automotive technology. The programs are similar but differ in that way. A collision tech can pull or put an engine. An automotive tech can tear down and repair an engine. The program is offered in Alexandria.

Job Opportunities

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics puts job growth for most of the fields at 5 percent, so there will be jobs for a long time. Here’s a look at what graduates can make, according to 2015 median pay statistics.
Truck drivers make about $40,260 per year or $19.36 per hour. An automotive tech or mechanic makes $37,850 per year or $18.20 per hour. Outdoor power equipment repair techs make $32,710 a year or $15.72 an hour with the top techs making more than $50,000. Collision repair techs have an annual salary of $39,590 or $17.66 an hour.
There’s a lot of variety in the field of automotive service. Jobs begin with disassembler, which means you tear down vehicles to get to the problem. Other jobs in a shop include body man, who straightens panels, welds and does fillings, to name a few duties; a frame technician that repairs and welds frame rails; a prep hand; and finisher or coater, who paints vehicles.
Continued education and training:

After earning a Technical Competency in Area, technical certificate or technical diploma in one of these programs – or even an associate’s degree in automotive technology – students can take general education courses and earn an Associate of Applied Science in technical studies. Those credits transfer to four-year universities like Northwestern State University and Louisiana State University of Alexandria, thanks to articulation agreements with CLTCC, and students can put those credits toward a fast-tracked bachelor’s degree.
 

Financial Aid

There’s financial aid available to help pay for classes through several state and federal options – Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants, work study, Louisiana Go Grants, Workforce Investment Act, TOPS and TOPS Tech Early Start Program. There also are several funding opportunities for veterans.
More information is available by clicking here.

Opportunity to Create A Career

These four programs at CLTCC can be the first step to a career in transportation. The industry is looking for skilled workers in practically every field – from drivers to automotive techs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics puts job growth for most of the fields at 5 percent, so there will be jobs for a long time. Here’s a look at what graduates can make, according to 2015 median pay statistics.

Truck drivers make about $40,260 per year or $19.36 per hour. An automotive tech or mechanic makes $37,850 per year or $18.20 per hour. Outdoor power equipment repair techs make $32,710 a year or $15.72 an hour with the top techs making more than $50,000. Collision repair techs have an annual salary of $39,590 or $17.66 an hour.

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

"I really came to try something new. I really love working with cars. It came natural for me. I was born for it. I fell in love with it actually. Everything you need to know for the real world is right here."
- Kevin Sarpy, 18
Collision repair student from Natchitoches
"What interests me is the actual refining portion of it. There’s a lot to know about painting and refinishing. If you like math, geometry, if you’re interested in angles and measurements, you’ll have a natural interest in stuff like this."
- Ron Strietzel, 50
Retiree from DeRidder in collision repair

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