Energy company TransCanada presented Joliet Junior College with a $55,000 check this week for the college’s Operations Engineering Technician program, representing the total amount the company has donated to the college’s new program over the past year. Senator Sue Rezin, who was instrumental in the development of the program as part of her efforts to bring more career opportunities to her district, also attended.
“TransCanada has been a tremendously supportive partner for our OET program, and we are grateful for their investment,” JJC President Dr. Debra Daniels said. “Thanks to the support of TransCanada and Senator Rezin, the OET program at JJC is training the next generation of skilled workers for in-demand jobs here in our district.”
Craig Rundle, Director of the Heartland Region for TransCanada USA Pipelines, presented the college with the check.
“This is an investment in a community where our employees live and work,” Rundle said. “We look at this as an opportunity to become part of the Joliet community and to help it grow for years and generations to come. Preparing the next generation of workers for careers in the energy industry holds the promise of meeting the demand for a skilled labor force with the training and expertise in an industry that is becoming more sophisticated, more technology-driven and more needed than ever before.”
JJC developed the OET program with the support of Senator Rezin and several local employers in response to anticipated industry growth and an increasing number of retirees in coming years, with many expected openings for well-paying, stable jobs in the local petrochemical, nuclear and manufacturing industries. Students accepted into the program will be able to pursue an associate degree in either Operations Engineering or Operations Technician.
JJC worked closely with partners Aux Sable Liquid Products, Exelon (Braidwood, Dresden and LaSalle Stations), LyondellBasell, Grundy Area Vocational Center, Coal City School District and Grundy Economic Development Council to develop the curriculum and ensure that students would be learning the precise skills employers would be looking for in future employees.
To learn more about the OET program, visit www.jjc.edu/operations-engineering-tech/Pages/default.aspx