New applied technology programs are needed at Northeastern, but the College does not currently have the space to start them.
Once the ATC expansion project is complete, Northeastern plans to launch Skilled Trades, an entirely new academic program. The planned expansion enables flexibility for the college to develop programs designed to graduate workforce-ready students with electrical and HVAC skills. These trades are especially needed throughout rural Colorado as many skilled trade business owners approaching retirement. Northeastern has support from local electricians to provide instructors and guidance. Wind Technology and electrical students would benefit from a shared dedicated space for electrical systems.
Rural eastern and southern Colorado has 29 percent fewer electricians than the national average, and 63 percent less than the greater Denver metro area. HVAC professionals in the area is 50 percent fewer than the national average and 44 percent less than the metro area. Employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. This presents an excellent opportunity to train and educate younger Coloradans to fill this need.