Connections: The Newsletter of the National Career Pathways Network

Volume 31, No. 2
Employer Engagement

SelecTech Partnership Provides Valuable Hands-on Experience for Students

Sarah Janes, Associate Vice Chancellor – Continuing and Professional Development, Associate Vice Chancellor, San Jacinto College

When Aggreko, a worldwide provider of rental power, temperature control, and compressed air systems, invited San Jacinto College to partner in establishing Aggreko’s SelecTech program in the Houston area, team leader Greg Mitchell, Senior Technician Programs Manager at Aggreko’s Pearland Learning Center, was ready to build a program designed to help students acquire technical competencies in all areas of Aggreko’s field operations. The SelecTech program launched in fall 2018 and the partnership continues to grow.

aggreko grads

“We’re pleased that a global industry leader like Aggreko selected San Jacinto College as a partner in creating a path to jobs that will be in demand for many decades to come,” says Heather Rhodes, dean of business and technology on the San Jacinto College North Campus. “The SelecTech partnership reinforces our mission to prepare students to enter the workforce with the skills needed to be attractive to industry now and in the future.”

Upon completion of the program, graduates receive a certificate of technology in heavy diesel power that stacks toward an associate of applied science degree. Aggreko interviews applicants and selects up to 25 each fall and spring semesters to enter the 12-month program. The 42-credit program combines classroom and web-based instruction and on-the-job training at Aggreko’s Pearland locations.

Courses include electrical controls, power generation, diesel preventive maintenance, HVAC basics, and compressed air mechanics. Students will use the skills learned to provide power, cooling, heating, and air services in disaster relief, industrial work, construction, special events, and other settings.

On average, SelecTechs score 8-10 percentage points higher on Aggreko’s power and temperature control assessments than the technicians hired for their work experience alone (2-5 years typically required). SelecTechs enter the business at the Technician 1 level after only one year of training, equipped with a solid basic knowledge that qualifies them to begin obtaining work experience. For two years after graduation, they focus on hands-on experience in the shop and field that reinforces the skills learned in the SelecTech program. After this period, they take more advanced Aggreko courses while they grow within the company.

logos“We take great pride in the fact that Aggreko is one of the few specialty rental companies in the industry offering a technician training program like SelecTech,” said Charlie Royce, Managing Director of North America for Aggreko. “Students gain valuable hands-on experience that cannot be obtained otherwise, making them more employable, more quickly. We look forward to working with San Jacinto College in training our next generation of skilled technicians—and providing a meaningful contribution to the long-term well-being of our community.”

To date and through COVID, 42 students have completed the program and been placed in Aggreko facilities throughout the United States, with 18 currently enrolled. Beyond the SelecTech partnership, program team leader Greg Mitchell supports the community through his service to the college, working on special projects and multiple advisory committees.

Aggreko’s national search for technical talent is a high company priority. All interested persons, including veterans, are encouraged to apply. Applications for the fall 2021 cohort are open. To qualify for enrollment, applicants should have a high school diploma, technical ability, and preferably related work experience.

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