DeKalb Park Board approves apprenticeship pilot program with Kishwaukee College
DeKALB – The Park District’s Board of Commissioners approved an agreement to pilot a facilities apprenticeship program.
Part of a new program to ensure smooth transition of facilities operations and management in the district, the apprenticeship is a partnership between Kishwaukee Community College and the park district, and will provide opportunity for one student to complete an Automated Industrial Tech Certificate program (28 course hours), while working part-time as a facilities apprentice with the district.
The park district will pay the student’s full tuition, book costs, and all fees while the student completes the program, in exchange for the student working approximately 20 hours a week, paid $15 per hour. Since the student is part-time, they are not eligible for health or other benefits.
“I think it’s a very good idea,” Commissioner Phil Young, board president, said during Thursday’s park board meeting at the Ellwood Museum’s Visitor’s Center, 509 N. First St.
Upon successful completion of the certificate program, maintaining a passing GPA, and demonstrated proficiency in facilities maintenance – responsibilities include repair and maintenance of HVAC, plumbing, electrical, pumps, fountains, and the outdoor aquatics facility – the apprentice will be offered a two-year, full-time position in the district.
“The [student’s] class schedule will always dictate [their apprentice hours],” said Amy Doll, district executive director. “Especially because the district is paying for that individual’s classes, so it’s in our best interest that they always go to class.”
Classes begin at Kishwaukee on Monday, and the apprentice program will begin on Jan. 22.