RCC adds 1-year program to meet job demand

Contributed photo Electric utility substation and relay technology instructor Morteza Talebi talks to a group of students about transformers at the substation on Richmond Community College’s campus in Hamlet. RCC has added a one-year EUSRT diploma program that will be offered in the evenings starting this fall.

HAMLET — The demand is clear. The utility industry wants to hire graduates from Richmond Community College’s electric utility substation and relay technology program, which is why the college is adding a new one-year diploma to its curriculum offerings this fall.

The electric utility transformer test specialist diploma program can be completed in four semesters with classes being offered in the evening to cater to those who already have employment but may be looking for a change in careers.

The diploma program was created in response to the utility industry’s immediate demand for more technicians capable of working on large power transformers.

“Students can complete this program in one year and get a job in the utility industry providing installation, commissioning, maintenance and trouble-shooting for large power transformers and maintenance for electric utility substations.” said RCC engineering department chair Amir Niczad. “Our two-year degree program already has a 100 percent job placement rate for graduates, so we know there is a real need for the type of skills we are teaching in electric utility substation and relay technology.”

RCC is the only college in the country to offer a two-year degree program like EUSRT and is also the only college in the country with a working substation on its campus. The electric utility transformer test specialist one-year diploma program will also be unique to RCC.

“We are seeking ambitious students for this new diploma program that will prepare them for high-skill, high-paying jobs in the utility industry,” RCC President Dr. Dale McInnis said. “We listened to the utility industry’s request for testing technicians and to our students looking for more evening program options.

“You can’t get this type of training in one year anywhere else in the country,” McInnis added.

Graduates who receive the electric utility transformer test specialist diploma will be able to find employment with utility companies as well as supporting companies in the industry, such as transformer manufacturers. Graduates of the diploma program will also be considered one year into the EUSRT associate degree program, so they continue their studies or go to work.

Graduates of both the diploma and degree program have high earning potential. Graduates of the EUSRT degree program are making between $40,000 and $60,000 their first year working in the utility industry. Niczad estimated graduates of the diploma program would make between $30,000 and $50,000.

This program will be offered for the first time this fall semester, which begins Aug. 17. Registration for fall classes at RCC will be held from 2:30 to 5:45 p.m. June 25 and July 9 at the college’s main campus, located at 1042 W. Hamlet Ave. in Hamlet.

To learn more about the electric utility transformer test specialist or EUSRT program, visit www.richmondcc.edu or call 910-410-1700.