Employees at Exelon Generation's Clinton Power Station will be able to take classes at the plant leading to an associate's degree under an agreement signed Tuesday between Exelon and Heartland Community College.
The customized training program was developed at the request of Exelon as a way to help its employees and feed the pipeline for reactor operators, explained Ted Stoner, power station site vice president, who was at Heartland for the signing ceremony.
Participants will be able to obtain an associate in applied science-industrial technology degree in two years, along with up to four skills certificates: industrial maintenance, industrial technology, renewable energy and electricity.
Although the college has done customized training for many companies, “we haven't customized a full associate's program before,” said Kelli Hill, vice president of continuing education and advancement.
Heartland President Keith Cornille said, “With this partnership, Exelon will not only bolster a workforce of homegrown talent, but they will also be making an investment in the economic welfare of the regional economy.”
Classes are expected to begin in January with at least 10 students, said Stoner. Sixty employees have already expressed interest, he said.
Stoner said the company approached several schools and Heartland was able to provide the flexibility and on-site courses it needed. He complimented Heartland's innovation.
It took about six months to put together the agreement. Some courses will last eight weeks and others will be 16 weeks.
Heartland also developed transfer agreements with Thomas Edison State University, based in Trenton, N.J., and Excelsior College, based in Albany, N.Y., for students with the AAS-industrial technology degree who want to pursue a bachelor's degree.
The agreement was signed during the Heartland board's regular monthly meeting.