Individuals Safely Training to Achieve Climber Credentials (iSTACC)

The Aiken Technical College (ATC) iSTACC program will train and place low-skilled workers, TAA-certified workers, and others in-demand jobs in the tower industry. iSTACC will also reduce fatalities in an unnecessarily dangerous industry, and create a replicable model for other community colleges. The program will expand an existing and nationally unique tower training program at ATC which produces entry-level authorized climbers who earn 16 semester hours of college credit over 5 weeks. The expanded program will increase the size of this Tower Technician I Certificate (TT1C) program, and will also create new stackable credentials for industry leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree. These new credentials after TT1C, will be offered utilizing advanced technology-enabled online learning, and will allow the TT1C graduate the opportunity advance in the field while employed. This strategy will allow ATC to meet the employment and training needs of a population needing such an opportunity, while providing trained and safe workers in an advanced industry sector where workforce needs are great and existing training is inadequate. Present training liability-oriented, and focuses on the safety hazards of the occupation. As a result, training is minimal in scope and provides inadequate safety training as evidenced by the industry's record of injury and fatalities. iSTACC credentials will include: Tower Technican I (authorized climber); Tower Technician II (competent climber); Tower Technician III (foreman); and Associate Degree in Applied Science in Wireless Technology (with specialization).

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