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Registration for 10th cohort begins in spring for CCSD juniors and seniors
SHIPROCK, N.M. – Since 2009, Arizona Public Service Company (APS) has partnered with Central Consolidated School District (CCSD) and Navajo Technical University to create an innovative and unique program that benefits not only CCSD students but the entire community.
The Industrial Maintenance Operations Program is a partnership that allows CCSD students to learn fundamentals of the energy industry from APS professionals at the Four Corners Power Plant while also earning a certificate from NTU.
“These students have an opportunity to become the next generation of workers at the power plant,” Terry Dayish, APS representative, said. “The students learn the basics of what we do to provide electric power.”
This two semester-long course trains students to repair and maintain commercial or industrial machinery in buildings, plants or factories. The program focuses on vibration analysis, electrical troubleshooting, drive system repair and hydraulic, pneumatic system troubleshooting and repair. Students also learn to troubleshoot and repair heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, electrical control systems and complete preventive maintenance of other types of machinery.
The program is designed to serve the needs of the community, state, and federal agencies and companies in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Upon completion of the program, the students may decide to work, or if they want to further their education, they can transfer their credits to any college of their choice. Graduates of this program should be able to seek gainful employment in companies such as paper mills, saw mills, and the utilities companies.
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Trista Yazzie is a Shiprock High School senior currently enrolled in the IMO program. While she hopes to enter a different career path, she plans to attend the radiology program at Central New Mexico College in Albuquerque, she says her experience at APS has been invaluable.
“This program gives you an idea of what it’s like to be an employee, instead of just a student,” Yazzie said. “We are involved in problem solving instead of just given answers. Our instructors treat us like adults and that helps with confidence, being sure of yourself and being prepared for a level of maturity that we need in a job.”
It’s easy to sign up for the course, which is available to all junior and seniors at Shiprock High School, Kirtland High School, Career Prep High School and Newcomb High School. Christian Adakai, a senior at CPHS, enrolled in the program because it offered a unique opportunity before he graduates.
“I knew I might never get a chance like this ever again,” Adakai said. “It was something new, something I was interested in and something that could help me in the future. It’s been a great decision, I’ve learned new things and learned more about some things I’d already studied. I’m excited to see that comes of this for me.”
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The program will graduate its 10th cohort of students next May during the 2018-2019 school year. Dayish would like to see enrollment in the class increase and for its largest graduating class come during this decade mark.
“This program can benefit not just the students but entire families,” Dayish said. “We’d like to see more students in these classes that can benefit their futures.” 
Students wishing to participate in the IMOP program next year can beginning signing up for the courses during the Spring 2018 semester. For more information about the Industrial Maintenance and Operations program at CCSD, students and parents should contact their school counselor or call the Freda Joe, dual credit coordinator at NTU, at 505-786-4100.