New Industrial Training program approved at Highland Community College

Freeport — The Illinois Board of Higher Education recently approved a new associate of applied science in Industrial Training at Highland Community College. The new degree was created in partnership with the Plumbers, Pipefitters and HVACR Local 23.

The new program is designed to create career pathways for those pursuing careers with an emphasis in welding. Students will pursue core welding and general education skills at Highland, while the remainder of their skill development will be obtained through the existing structure of the Plumbers, Pipefitters and HVACR Local 23 five-year apprenticeship program.

While potential students in this program could enter the workforce directly upon completion of the welding certificate, they will also have the option to apply for acceptance in the Plumbers, Pipefitters and HVACR Local 23 apprenticeship program.

Upon completion of the five-year apprenticeship requirements, the apprentice – now journeyman – will be awarded 32 semester hours of proficiency credit. Those credits, with the addition of the credits previously earned for the welding certificate and a sequence of HCC general education courses, will qualify students to be awarded the new Industrial Training AAS degree.

“We have a training center in Winnebago County and we wanted to reach out to our western jurisdiction in Stephenson, Jo Daviess, and parts of Carroll counties,” said Greg Harle, Training Coordinator for the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 23. “Highland’s location and excellent facilities will help gives us opportunities to cover training throughout our entire jurisdiction.”

“Those that go on to complete the apprenticeship and then the associate degree will provide our contractors with more skilled, better educated, tradespeople and gives the degree holder the skills to pursue other options within the industry because they have the education,” said Harle.

Scott Anderson
Left to right: Tim Huff, Plumbers, Pipefitters & HVAC Local 23 Business Agent;
Highland’s Scott Anderson; and Greg Harle, Training Coordinator for the Local 23.

Highland Dean of Business and Technology Scott Anderson is excited about the new program. “We appreciated the cooperation and leadership provided by the Local 23 in helping to develop this new degree option,” said Anderson. “It will benefit the local workforce as well as area residents looking to improve their career options in the skilled trades.” For more information about the new AAS in Industrial Training, contact Dean Anderson at 815.599.3604 or

2998 W. Pearl City Road
Freeport, IL 61032-9341

Fax 815-235-6130

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