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WCC provides green light for traffic signal jobs

Motors and controls program offered through Watson Electrical partnership

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Wilson Community College is partnering with Watson Electrical Construction Co. to offer a training program designed to provide skills for workers in the integrated transportation systems field. The ITS field involves dynamic message systems, fiber optic communications, cellular communications, closed-circuit TV cameras, central command centers, traffic signals and traffic signal control boxes.

Watson Electrical approached the college with a need for workers skilled in the installation and maintenance of traffic signal systems. To provide this training, WCC suggested the motors and controls certificate program, a 12-hour program that can be completed in two to four semesters. The certificate provides coursework in DC/AC electricity, motors and controls, the National Electric Code and diagrams and schematics. The courses for the program will incorporate content on traffic signal systems, including hands-on installation of these systems.

The program is unique in North Carolina, only being offered in Wilson.

“This is an excellent partnership that will provide job opportunities for our electrical systems technology diploma and certificate graduates,” said WCC Dean of Industrial Technologies Margie Norfleet.

Watson Electrical’s traffic control division has provided the college with a functional traffic signal system that was recently installed at the college’s Lee Technology Center. The system consists of a signal control box, traffic signal, poles, signal head and a “Walk/Don’t Walk” pedestrian head.

Upon completion of the certificate, students are guaranteed an interview with Watson Electrical. Hiring requirements include a valid North Carolina driver’s license, meeting the state requirement to obtain a commercial driver’s license and meeting the company’s standard employment requirements.

Students who are hired with the motors and controls certificate will experience faster career advancement.

“We believe in investing in our employees through training and career advancement. When we started developing the motors and controls certificate program, we wanted to put in place an education incentive for those graduates that join our team,” said David Garren, Watson Electrical’s vice president for human resources. “This program is designed to help offset the education cost of the three specific traffic signal classes taken at WCC. Our goal is to not only reduce the overall cost to the graduate but to also provide a solid foundation for a rewarding career with our company.”

For more information about the motors and controls certificate program at Wilson Community College, contact Royce Jones, electrical system technology instructor, at 252-246-1238 and or Margie Norfleet, dean of industrial technologies, at 252-246-1210 and