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Workforce Initiative Highlight | Northland Career Center

by Mary Rooney | Feb 10, 2020

By Charlie King, KC SmartPort Intern, Northland CAPS Student

The Kansas City region is an exciting and constantly growing industrial hub. As the industrial space grows in Kansas City so does its need for industrial employment. The expansion of these positions has led to a growth in programs that provide a stepping stone to education necessary for these positions, or the opportunity to step directly into the workforce. One program leading the charge is the Northland Career Center based in Platte County, Missouri.

The Northland Career Center offers opportunities to sixteen different schools in the Kansas City area. The program serves students ranging from juniors in high school to those attending local colleges and universities. The program’s mission is, “To prepare students for a continually changing world by providing relevant experiences.” Northland Career Center differs from traditional schooling because of its focus on hands on learning in a student's desired field. Students are led by instructors who have established themselves in their designated field prior to working with Northland Career Center students. Northland Career Center students have the opportunity to learn more about their future careers inside and outside of classroom settings, and earn necessary certifications that will put them ahead of their peers in the future. As a whole, the Northland Career Center offers twelve different programs in different fields; listed below are three of those which have the potential to have the greatest impact on Kansas City’s industrial market. Information on all programs can be found here.

  • Industrial Welding: Students enrolled in the industrial welding branch of the Northland Career Center work in a setting focused on furthering themselves in their future professions. The program acts as a training environment through hands on learning in comparison to the commonality of the pencil and paper work done in a traditional classroom. Students enrolled in this program are self-paced. There is no specific curriculum that would be a cause of hindrance in their potential learning. To complete the required skills students need to attend three hours a day for two years. At the end of their time in the program they have the opportunity to take The Welder Performance Qualification Test as established by the American Welding Society and the D1.1 Structural Welding Code-Steel.

  • Aviation Technology: Similar to the Industrial Welding portion of the Northland Career Center, the Aviation Technology branch is also a two year program. Students in this program also learn the skills required for their desired field primarily through hands on, real world settings. They are provided with the unique opportunity to work with a Northland Career Center partner in ATS, Aircraft Technical Services, based out of the Kansas City International Airport. Instruction within this branch ranges from the basic concepts of aircraft engines and components to the advanced topics of the theory of flight and utilizing ground service equipment. Ultimately, the goal of the Aviation Technology Branch is to prepare students for furthering their education through an associate’s degree and/or airframe and powerplant certification; there is also opportunity for students to step directly into the aircraft maintenance industry following the completion of the two year program.

  • Diesel Technology: To complete all required skills in the Diesel Technology Branch a student must attend two and a half hours a day for two school years. As the cornerstone of what the Northland Career Center is based around, students in this branch of the program learn in a hands on environment. In a city where freight is one of the major factors in our local economy as well as our contribution to our national economy the Diesel Technology Branch stands to be one of the most relevant. The goal of the program is, by the end of it, to have provided students with the skill set to enter into an entry-level diesel technician position if they desire to. The skills taught range from the phases of diesel equipment repair to preventative maintenance and shop management to both mobile and stationary diesel equipment applications. At the end of the program students have the opportunity to earn an ASE entry level certification.

In an area where the demand for industrial positions is constantly growing, students that have participated in The Northland Career Center’s programs are prepared and eager to get a start in Kansas City’s workforce.

Learn more about Northland Career Center here.


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