KTECH graduates entering job force
MADISON – KTECH, Kids to Love Foundation’s newest mission, is meeting needs of foster children by making waves far beyond the foster care system.
KTECH, a workforce training initiative, teaches Mechatronics, a skill set in high demand by the advanced manufacturing industry.
Combining mechanics and electronics, Mechatronics is becoming increasingly common in manufacturing, including automated car assembly arms, hospital equipment and machines that place circuit boards in consumer electronics.
Scott Cooper is one of KTECH’s success stories. Cooper, now 40, joined the U.S. Army at age 23. He was an ammunitions specialist, serving most of his enlistment at Fort Benning, Ga.
However, Cooper fell during a training run, was trampled by three soldiers and ruptured three discs. After an honorable discharge, he worked as an armed response officer at TVA Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant.
Cooper had to carry 56 pounds of gear, which damaged his back drastically. He had to have surgery. Cooper received disability benefits from the Veterans Administration and didn’t work for eight years.
Now a single dad, Cooper was motivated to return to work for his three sons. He attended vocational rehabilitation and received a KTECH pamphlet. He could train at KTECH in much less time than a community college.
“With KTECH, you get a lot more one-on-one time than you ever would anywhere else,” he says. “I never would have believed that I’d be doing the type of math with very little understanding of algebra.”
Cooper graduated from KTECH in May. He also passed certification to become a Level 1 Siemens Mechatronics Assistant. Cooper is now employed at Sanmina.
Edward Brunner is KTECH’S lead instructor. Retired from the U.S. Navy, Brunner has 20-plus years experience as an Aviation Electronics Technician. His passion for Mechatronics came when he was assigned to an Unmanned Aerial Unit command.
“We (KTECH) can provide additional opportunities for a veteran who seeks to kick-start a technical career in electronics, mechanics, fluid power and computer controls,” Brunner says.
Every student in KTECH’s inaugural class was employed within 30 days of graduating.
Currently, KTECH is accepting applications for new students. Classes for the 15-week accelerated program will begin on Aug. 29.
For information, call 256-880-3455, email Dorothy.email@example.com or visit kidstolove.org.