Practical training: Turing Baker Technical Institute | Local news

A The rainy day did not stop Baker Institute from welcoming state lawmakers, provincial commissioners, representatives of Blue Mountain Community College and company representatives from across the region for a Monday morning, March 28 visit.

State Sen. Lynn Findley, of R-Wale, whose county includes Baker County, visited BTI a few years ago on Baker High School campus.

Findley, along with BTI President Doug Dalton, worked with the Eastern Oregon Labor Board to plan the trip, which showcases what BTI has to offer students and adults. The event on Monday was attended by about 20 people, including another lawmaker, Senator Bill Hansell, a Republican from Athens in Umatilla County.

“I visited BTI about two years ago and was very impressed with the facilities and the work you do here,” Findley said.

Launched nearly eight years ago at Baker School 5J, the facility offers a school of heavy equipment operator, truck driving school, health program, training in agriculture, natural sciences and natural resources, and has recently partnered with the Oregon Trail. The Electric Cooperative will establish a training center for domestic service workers.

Sandy Mitchell, BTI program coordinator, explained that BTI is a technical college.

“We contract with the Baker School District and offer all programs (grades) 7-12 CTE (technical vocational education) and then we are licensed as a technical college in Oregon through the HECC, the Higher Education Coordination Commission,” Mitchell said. .

He said BTI partners with industries in the North Pacific are taking BTI training programs to other communities.

“Right now we’re in East Idaho. In Idaho Falls, we have 20 students who study construction,” Mitchell said. “So, last week they actually poured concrete and are learning how to pour concrete in the recreation area. We do community projects and our teachers come in and teach them. ”

He said all 20 students learned plan reading skills, construction math, how to find volume, what is needed for concrete, and how to order.

Mitchell said BTI teachers have also set up mobile classrooms in remote locations with trailers that have simulators that students use to learn heavy equipment such as backhoes and shovels.

“We really feel like students get as many certifications as possible,” Dalton said.

In the health sector, Dalton said BTI has mobile laboratories that allow teachers to work inside hospitals across the region, including in Pendleton, Hepner, Vallowa, John Day, Burns and Ontario.

“We are now building laboratories to be able to teach medical lessons from here to smaller rural communities,” Dalton said.

Practical training

Monday’s tour participants experienced mobile simulators of heavy equipment, including truck driving and logistics training.

“These trailers go all over the Northwest,” Dalton said.

Patrick Raymondo, manager of the Behlen Country Livestock Equipment Factory in Baker City, along with Stacey DeLong, Human Resources Manager of the plant, and Angie Boruch, Quality and Safety Manager, participated in the trip.

Delong and Boruch chose a driving simulator. Users are seated in the original truck seat, which is the same as a real car depending on the terrain and road level.

Three screens showed the view through the windshield, window and rearview mirrors.

The teacher chooses different driving scenarios for the student, including bad weather, jumping on the road, blowing wheels or other mechanical problems. “I have to give it to truck drivers, it’s not an easy task. ”Boruch said after turning on the simulator.

“It’s wild,” Delong said.

Agriculture and healthcare are expanding

Dalton took a walk from the simulators to the FFA greenhouse, where students had baskets of flowers to sell for Mother’s Day. It will be held in person.

“Ninety percent of our AG program is focused on high school students, (the FFA program) here,” Dalton said. “We have a perfect way of both plant science and a perfect way of animal science. And then we offer lessons in ag business and ag technology and innovation. ”

The BTI ag program voted the program of the year for Oregon and the region.

BTI also has an ESports team that is the first in Oregon. The team participates in electronic sports competitions.

In healthcare, BTI has courses that focus on rural medicine, including desert first aid.

“We train all of the doctors who need editing, and we are certified through the American Medical Association to give them skills to support rural life,” Dalton said.

Dalton said BTI has a student base of about 2,000 students and they will continue to grow.

“We have a contract with Baker School, we do their entire high school CTE (vocational vocational training) and we send high school students here to start,” he said. “So, they get field certificates here as high school students, which is amazing. We train about 400 people here during the day until noon, and then the adults come in at about 2:30.”

Dalton said the average starting salary for students who graduated was $ 56 an hour. She said BTI students learn how to prepare a resume, go through fraudulent interviews and understand business and financial accounting.

“We celebrate work ethic and talk about it every day,” he said.

Dalton said BTI also encourages creative thinking among students.

The Tormach 1100mx CNC Mill machine, a $ 40,000 machine that came in parts in hundreds of boxes, was assembled by Zach Morrison for an engineering project.

“Work ethic. We are very proud of that. He was creative, he had a work ethic, and he was here every weekend, ”Dalton said of Morrison.

Students use CNC Mill to create robot projects and competitions, and more. “It’s a fantastic skill and it all starts with creativity,” Dalton said.

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