New JSCC AMT Program Provides Real-World Experience With Pay

The Business and Industry division at Jackson State Community College is now offering an innovative new educational opportunity for upcoming high school graduates. The Advanced Maintenance Technician (AMT) program provides a new approach to attaining an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Industrial Technology with a concentration in Multi-Skilled Maintenance Technician.

The Multi-Skilled Maintenance Technician is a highly trained individual with special skillsets that work in manufacturing environments. Due to their specialized training and skills, they command much higher salaries than typical manufacturing positions. A multi-skilled maintenance technician has a broad foundation of theoretical and practical knowledge in the areas of electrical and electronic circuits, robotics, instrumentation, programmable logic controllers, motor controls and hydraulics/pneumatics equipment.

The advantages of the AMT program include a completed AAS degree in Industrial Technology that is complemented by two years of invaluable, relevant work experience. Also, participants will have a stable, good paying part-time job while earning their degree. This can help them to complete their college degree with little or no educational debt.

After completing the AMT program, JSCC Industrial Technology graduates can earn $37,000 or more per year starting salary, according to consortium members as well as other local manufacturers. Their earning potential can rapidly increase to $50,000 or more. This is very significant considering that the median household income in Tennessee is only $41,000.

A consortium of 15 area manufacturing partners working with Jackson State have developed the AMT program as a way of attracting highly qualified applicants into the field of multi-skilled maintenance technician. The AMT program is a selective admission program targeting high school graduates that have excelled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs. Applicants will be selectively admitted as co-op students.

This program allows students to enroll at JSCC, take college classes two days a week on the Jackson campus and work at one of the consortium partners the other three days. The AAS degree in Industrial Technology is completed in five straight semesters. While working, the cooperative student will be paid a minimum of $12 per hour for the 24 hours they work each week at the manufacturing partner. Salary increases will be provided to advancing students, allowing participants to earn $14 per hour by their fifth and final semester.

Jason Bates, Administrative Manager at consortium member TOYOTA|Bodine Aluminum, Inc., has commented that during the economic slowdown over the past several years, individuals who have had the technical training and expertise to maintain manufacturing operations have had no unemployment issues. According to Bates, the number-one unfilled job opening during the Great Recession has been skilled technicians. What is worse, there are not enough people being trained or seeking to be trained to fill these positions.

The AMT Program offers participants a great opportunity to earn an AAS degree, to get their foot in the door of area manufacturers, get trained at a high-tech job, and to get paid while doing it. This is a bold new approach at how we educate the workforce of tomorrow, says Terri Messer, Dean of Business and Industry.

Additional information about the admissions process and an application for the AMT program can be found at or by contacting Cathi Roberts at 731-425-9584or emailing her at