Morgan Community College (MCC) has been offering educational opportunities and producing career-ready graduates in northeast Colorado for over fifty years. MCC’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs prepare students for successful careers in the industries of their choice, especially during this time of high demand for skilled trade workers. These programs include Electromechanical Technology (ELMT), Industrial Controls (ICT), Automotive Collision Repair, Automotive Service Technology, and Welding. MCC trades programs will benefit from a new facility under development.
The college will break ground on the Dahms-Talton Center for Skilled Trades and Technology later this summer. The new building will create much-needed space to accommodate growth of existing and future trades and technology programs. The 5,000 square foot facility will be constructed to allow two future additions to provide even more space. The Center will be located on the southeast side of Cottonwood Hall on the MCC Fort Morgan campus. The facility will be home to the expanding Electromechanical Technology and Industrial Controls programs. Future programs to be housed in the Center may include Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Solar and Green Energy Technology. A groundbreaking ceremony will be announced in the coming months.
Funding for the Center includes a $1.1 million Colorado Talent Pipeline grant to expand facilities for the ELMT program. The addition of $2.5 million from Dr. Alan and Polli Dahms made this important expansion possible. The College has approved up to $1.5 million from reserves to fund site preparation and utility extensions required for the facility. The total expected budget is $5.2 million in combined funds.
“The Center would not be possible without the very generous support of Dr. Alan and Polli Dahms. Their passion for promoting educational pathways and sustainable growth in the region is unparalleled,” said Dr. Curt Freed, MCC President. “The support and friendship Alan and Polli have provided toward the college made the difference on this important project.”
“Further education, irrespective of your starting point, is often life-changing,” stated Polli Talton Dahms. “As it always has, Morgan Community College is responding to our society’s urgent needs, in this case for people in professional areas of the skilled trades and technologies. Alan and I are honored to be of help in this effort.”
The ELMT program uses hands-on learning to teach students about electronics and electrical/mechanical equipment as well as develops soft skills, like working within a team. Students network with employers throughout the state to learn about future job opportunities and gain internships. The program also prepares students to register as an electrical journeyman applicant with 2,000 hours completed towards the 8,000-hour requirement for licensure through the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.
“The ELMT program has opened so many doors for me to pursue a career in a field I never saw myself working in,” stated Daniel Serna, MCC Student. “The program has shown me the different industry trades and how they are important to our future. The new Center will create more room to learn and be a better experience for students. MCC is preparing me for success.”
MCC hired a second full-time faculty last year, Daniel Feuerstein, to support student learning and expansion of the ELMT and ICT programs. The college is working to expand these programs to meet regional demand.
“The ELMT and ICT programs are a balance of both applied trade skills and technical skills,” said Daniel Feuerstein, MCC ELMT/ICT Instructor. “Students graduate with an arsenal of tools, prepared for a successful career in a trade. Our (MCC) pass rate for these programs is 98%. This phenomenal pass rate is due to MCC Faculty George O’Clair and his knowledge and experience in the industry, the educational resources that provide hands-on education, and the on-the-job training students receive.”
MCC’s Automotive Collision Repair and Automotive Service Technology programs use state-of-the art equipment to prepare students for a career in an industry that requires continued learning for an ever-changing, technology-driven industry. A career in the automotive industry promises the potential for a high salary, exposure to new technology, and job stability. “Jobs are plentiful in the automotive industry, with many different career opportunities,” said Brad Parker, MCC Automotive Technology Faculty. “The auto industry has changed drastically since I began in the mid-1980’s. This industry will continue to advance in ways we cannot imagine. I see professionals in this industry who have a good work ethic and embrace the challenge of new technology and they are very successful in their work.”
MCC’s Welding program offers opportunities for students to earn individual Welding certificates or an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. Students who complete the Welding certificates or AAS degree are prepared to secure work in positions such as an Engineer, TIG Welder, or Welding Inspector. The Welding program incorporates industry requirements, following American Welding Society (AWS) standards of weld procedures and certifications, and provides versatile instruction on all main welding processes. “We teach welding in several different ways in a controlled environment,” stated Tyler Wunsch, MCC Welding Faculty. “This means students can learn via the method that best meets their needs and prepares them with a strong skill set that helps them stand out in a competitive workforce.”
MCC has strong industry partnerships across Morgan County and with Merritt Aluminum in Fort Lupton, Colorado. These partnerships provide various internships and potential job opportunities for MCC graduates who have developed strong welding skills. “The Welding program at MCC has opened many opportunities for me,” said Zachary Evans, MCC Welding alumnus. “Obtaining my degree helped me be prepared for a welding career. There are so many benefits to pursuing a career in welding. The skills are invaluable, and the need for skilled Welders is in high demand. This is a career that can take you anywhere in the world.”
“Morgan Community College’s trades programs are really key to meeting industry needs today,” said Dr. Curt Freed, President of MCC. “These programs give students essential skills and an important linkage to their industry.”
MCC is now registering students for fall semester. Courses begin August 21, 2023. Visit www.morgancc.edu/fall to access the Fall 2022 schedule and register for classes.
For more information about MCC CTE programs, visit www.morgancc.edu. To speak with an advisor, visit an MCC location or call (800) 622-0216.
Community individuals or organizations interested in supporting the development of an expanded industrial training facility at MCC can contact MCC President, Dr. Curt Freed, at Curt.Freed@Morgancc.edu or (970) 542-3105.