Moraine Park Board investigates new Industrial Maintenance program

by jurben30. January 2007 19:00

Dr. HytrekWith the goal of meeting local and regional business needs, an investigation into an associate degree program in Industrial Maintenance Technology was approved by the Moraine Park Technical College District Board during its Dec. 20, 2006, meeting.

Pending the approval of the Wisconsin Technical College System State Board, the Industrial Maintenance Technology program will prepare students to enter several technology-driven fields, including manufacturing, food and beverage processing and building maintenance. The new program will provide training in fluid power (hydraulics and pneumatics), basic electrical/electronics and instrumentation, machining, welding, programmable logic control, motor control and automation. A comprehensive understanding of how these technical skill areas are linked together to create an understanding of automated systems operation will be developed through hands-on projects. Graduates will be prepared to work in a variety of industrial maintenance fields, providing them with a wide range of employment opportunities. 

“We hope to have everything in place for a fall 2007 start,” said James Eden, MorainePark executive dean of manufacturing trades and apprenticeship. “The demand for industrial maintenance workers is expanding due to increased technology, automation and productivity. These are high-tech jobs for individuals who like working with computer systems that control mechanical operations.”

Prior to the Moraine Park Board approval, a needs assessment survey was conducted in November that targeted 38 mid- to large-size manufacturers within the Moraine Park District. The 20 survey respondents who completed the questionnaire estimated they would hire 61 full-time individuals with industrial maintenance skills over the next four years due to retirements, replacements or new positions being created, with 85 percent saying they are likely to hire in the future and 58 percent reporting difficulty in finding qualified industrial maintenance technicians. Seventy-five percent said there is a strong need for industrial maintenance technicians, while 20 percent said there is a moderate need. Ninety percent reported they would hire a Moraine Park graduate if they had a job opening that needed industrial maintenance skills.

The mean starting hourly wage of an industrial maintenance technician is $15.98. After three years of employment, the mean hourly salary jumps to $18.45.

“The new Industrial Maintenance Technology program will enable Moraine Park to meet more needs of manufacturers within the College’s district,” said Dr. Gayle Hytrek, Moraine Park president. “It will also give interested individuals a new education and career choice at Moraine Park.”

For questions regarding the Industrial Maintenance Technology program, contact James Eden at 262-335-5705 or at