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Workforce Initiative Highlight | Olathe Advanced Technical Center

by Mary Rooney | Apr 29, 2019

By Allyson Attigliato, KC SmartPort Intern, Northland CAPS Student

The Kansas City region is experiencing steady growth of young, new talent each year. KC’s students are full of personality and drive, and as they move towards graduation, many are choosing to enter programs that provide hands on experience in a professional field they hope to soon join. Students in the KC region are fortunate to have access to dozens of programs where they can accomplish that goal, including the Olathe Advanced Technical Center (OATC).

Olathe Advanced Technical Center (OATC) is a program in Olathe, Kansas specifically tailored to high school students that are juniors and seniors. It is a two-year career and technical program that gets students focused on today’s high-demand career fields, while still staying in contact with student interests. They receive hands-on learning opportunities, and industry standard resources and equipment. Altogether, OATC provides access to seven industry specific programs; each with different requirements, experiences and the potential to earn industry certifications. Highlighted below are four OATC programs that are directly influencing the KC region’s pipeline of skilled industrial talent: Welding Technology, Construction Trades, Automotive Technologies and Aviation Electronics. Information on all seven OATC programs can be found here.  

  • Welding Technology: The Welding Program is a career-minded course that specializes in the manufacturing of metal components with a major emphasis in welding. In this program, students partner with educational and industrial institutions for advanced learning and employment opportunities. Since students stay with their professor for two years, they get quality time to learn and to expand their horizons in the profession. The students will also be able to complete an AWS SENSE entry level welder certification through rigorous written and hands on testing their senior year. Students may also choose to earn college credit from Johnson County Community College while enrolled in these courses.

  • Construction Trades: The Construction Trades program provides students with hands-on construction experience as they participate in a variety of experiences related to the construction industry. Students experience a wide variety of projects and construction opportunities, including skills necessary to remodel, repair and maintain a home. The students will learn and explore the areas of framing, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, tiling, cabinetry, drywall, and painting and will learn the various building codes that are associated with each of the areas of study. The students complete a wide range of projects, both individual and collaborative, throughout their course of study.

  • Automotive Technology: This Auto Technology program offers students a look into the automotive industry with hands on experience. In this program, they will learn to work with industry standard equipment and develop skills through application of theory using modern electronic testing equipment. The Automotive Technology program is NATEF certified and students also have the opportunity to earn up to 8 ASE certifications, as well as college credit from Johnson County Community College.

  • Aviation Electronics: Aviation Electronics is the newest addition to OATC and the first class will begin in the 2019-2020 school year. As a high-demand skill set in the KC region, this is a critical addition to the OATC program. Class curriculum will begin with foundations in the aviation field including hand and power tools, foundations of electronics, aviation fundamentals, and digital electronics.  The second year will go more in-depth with hands on experience in interacting with DC electronics, Microcontrollers, AC electronics, and Integrated circuits. Students who enroll in this program will have an opportunity to earn up to 22 hours of college credit if they complete two years in the program.

Students graduating from OATC are undoubtedly prepared for today’s world of work or post-secondary training. To learn more, please visit olatheschools.org or contact Amy Stolz, Administrator, at 912.780.7026 or via email at alstoz@olatheschools.org.

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