BOT Pathway Program Enhances Career Prospects for Grads

BOT Pathway Program Enhances Career Prospects for Grads

For dozens of people wanting to make a career change or be employed in an in-demand field, the Building Operations Technician (BOT) program, a partnership between Minneapolis College Continuing Education and Workforce Development (CEWD) and Project for Pride in Living (PPL), has led to well-paying jobs with benefits and career growth opportunities. The seventh BOT cohort is currently underway and due to graduate in May.

An intensive nine-month program, BOT prepares graduates for careers in residential or commercial building operations. The program includes a variety of training modules, including machine tools, HVAC, plumbing, electricity, carpentry and more. Students take OSHA30 as part of the program and can earn an OSHA30 Workplace Safety Certificate. Classes prepare students for the Boiler’s License test which is taken through the program. Students also participate in paid, two-week job shadows with employer partners as part of the program. Sometimes students are hired for full-time positions before they finish the program.

Amy Shapiro, customized training representative with CEWD, is enthusiastic about the BOT program. Participants “get to learn so many skills – carpentry, plumbing and HVAC. Some students discover they have a deep interest in a specific area after being exposed to this training,” she said.

Minneapolis College CEWD partners with community-based organizations to run career pathway programs, such as BOT, to prepare participants for industries that are experiencing a workforce shortage. CEWD staff also build and maintain relationships with local businesses and community-based organizations to provide customized training in a variety of industries. PPL, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people with lower incomes to become self-reliant, is CEWD’s largest community-based partner.

PPL recruits participants of varying ages and lived experiences for BOT and offers support throughout the program and after completion. Students attend classes two nights per week at Minneapolis College and one night a week with PPL. The ongoing support from PPL includes wraparound services such as, financial empowerment, StrengthsFinder, and Digital Literacy workshops to help participants address the challenges that often accompany positive life changes.

“Project for Pride in Living values our partnership with Minneapolis College as they support building the knowledge and technical skillsets within the classroom that prepare our program graduates for success in the field. Our programming is designed to highlight the transferable skills of the individual and build on them with the great experience of tools and certificates along the way,” said PPL Senior Career Pathways Program Manager Madolyn Martini.

For more information and to register for the BOT program, visit the BOT website. Two college credits for prior learning are offered for BOT graduates who complete OSHA30 and transfer to other programs. PPL is currently recruiting students for the next cohort in July.

Earning Building Operations Technician certification is a milestone achievement. Many BOT participants contended with barriers and obstacles before reaching this point, adding even greater significance to their accomplishment. Completing the BOT pathway program opens new doors and helps participants move into a more secure future.

Photo credit: LISC

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