College of San Mateo joined with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD), and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to develop the curriculum in the Electrical Power Systems (EPS) program. It is the intent of this certificate to prepare students for work in a variety of industries that require knowledge of electronics and skills in the calibration of highly sensitive equipment. The curriculum in the certificate program is also intended to position students to pass employment tests and interviews for high wage/high demand jobs in a variety of industries, particularly in utility companies (power, water and wastewater). This certificate program is part of the Electronics Department.
The major utility companies in Northern California formed a consortium to work on a shared problem – the potential shortage of skilled workers prepared for employment in the utilities industry. The majority of skilled workers in the utility companies are part of the “baby boomer” generation. The statistics from the utility companies are surprising: approximately 40 – 50 percent of these skilled workers are eligible to retire in the next five years.
PG&E has endorsed the EPS certificate and has designated it a Power Pathways program. The graduates of these designated programs are sought after as employees by PG&E and other utility companies. However, this program teaches skills that are desired in a number of other industries that are noted for their stability and strong wages. These industries include manufacturing, food processing and transportation.
Typical skills in electronics jobs
- Read blueprints, wiring diagrams, schematic drawings and engineering instructions for assembling electronic units and applying knowledge of electronic theory and components.
- Test electronics units, using standard test equipment, and analyze results to evaluate performance and determine need for adjustment.
- Perform preventative maintenance and calibration of equipment and systems.
- Assemble, test, and maintain circuitry or electronic components according to engineering instructions, technical manuals, and knowledge of electronics, using hand and power tools.
- Adjust and replace defective or improperly functioning circuitry and electronics components, using hand tools and soldering iron
- Provide technical assistance and resolution when electrical or engineering problems are encountered before, during, and after construction.
- Assemble electrical and electronic systems and prototypes according to engineering data and knowledge of electrical principles, using hand tools and measuring instruments.
- Install and maintain electrical control systems and solid state equipment.
- Modify electrical prototypes, parts, assemblies, and systems to correct functional deviations.
- Set up and operate test equipment to evaluate performance of developmental parts, assemblies, or systems under simulated operating conditions, and record results.