A $96,000 Workforce Development Training grant has helped Eastern Idaho Technical College (EITC) restart its Radiation Safety Training program. This grant is not only helping the college to resupply the workforce pipeline with qualified technicians needed to replace the aging workforce as they retire but is also making a difference in the lives of the people enrolled in this program by providing a low-cost training option that translates to high wages.
The program, which consists of two semesters in the classroom and an eight-week summer internship, prepares students to become radiation control technicians. The students perform a critical function at the Idaho National Laboratory and other Department of Energy (DOE) sites by monitoring and controlling radiation levels at the worksite to help ensure the safety of the people who work there. “The only other place to offer any kind of radiation safety training in this area is in Washington and they don’t teach the radiation contact information needed at DOE sites,” said Mahlon Heileson, radiation safety program instructor.
Graduating cadets can continue their education or use the certificates they earned to go immediately into the workforce with their in-demand skills. (Photo courtesy of Idaho Youth ChalleNGe Academy)
A year ago the Idaho Youth ChalleNGe Academy in Pierce wanted to enhance its technical training and career readiness programs but lacked the funding to do so. The $25,000 Workforce Development Training Fund micro-grant it received from the Idaho Department of Labor has helped make these plans a reality for the one year duration of the grant.
A dozen or so local organizations have also jumped in and donated their time, materials and expertise to help the academy improve the training offered to the at-risk teens who attend the academy from throughout the state. In-kind donations from partnering organizations amounted to more than $36,000 of goods and services. Local organizations have donated supplies such as scrap metal and building supplies used in the metal fabrication and construction courses as well as donating their time which includes instruction hours or general job skills training like mock-interviews.