From ATC to MCLB - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

From ATC to MCLB

Albany - When you get in a fender bender, or the paint is chipping off your car, you take it to an auto shop, much like the one at Albany Technical college. The same is true for military vehicles brought back to MCLB from the war in Iraq.

"The vehicles come in damaged, like the hummers, we teach the fiberglass and plastic repairs on those, plus the replacement of all the associated parts that go with it, so that's what they are hiring my people for," says auto collision Instructor Bill Underwood.

Just last week, two more students in the auto collision program were hired to work at MCLB. Underwood says, "They are snapping my guys up left and right. I get calls every week for collision repairmen and apprentices."

Students taught in other trades, like Industrial systems, are also needed at the base. Instructor Joe Castongia says, "They end up doing maintenance work, electrical, mechanical, basically, we can do a lot of things, hydraulics, robotics."

And students can start working at the base while they're still enrolled at school. He says,"We have a coop program that goes on between us and MCLB, that puts students to work full time, in the shops out there at the Marine Base."

And students in the coop program are usually hired on full-time once they graduate. Castongia says, "As soon as they go out to work, they're attached and they don't ever want to leave."

With a 99% job placement rate, and job openings at the base and other industries in Albany, it looks like many more students will find their nitch soon as well. The certified Customer Services Specialist area has had the most students, close to 100, employed at the base this year.

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