February 21, 2018
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WCCC Students Observe Inside Operations at a Machias Plant

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CALAIS _ Students enrolled in Washington County Community College’s Residential and Commercial Electricity Program had an opportunity to see up close much of what they have learned in the classroom this past year and how it can be applied during a recent tour of the Maine Wild Blueberry Plant in Machias.
The tour was organized by Paul Mitchell, residential & commercial electricity instructor at the college. “I thought it was important to provide the students with an opportunity to see an industrialized plant in operation. This is getting them beyond the classroom instruction and putting them into an actual physical operation,” he said.
Students observed each stage of the processing plant. “We walked them through the blueberry line to the washing cycle, the freezing cycle, and then onto the boxing berry line,” Mitchell said.
Then there was a tour behind the scenes to see how the plant operates. “Because everything is run electrically and this gave them an idea of what happens with all of the motors involved and the electrical hook-ups,” the instructor said. Scott Geel of Geel’s Electrical Service helped with the tour and Bob Jameson, Plant Manager arranged for this opportunity for the students.
Students reacted positively to the tour, Mitchell added. “They thought it was interesting to see how what they have learned in the classroom is applied in a real world application.”
A WCCC Residential and Commercial Electricity diploma program provides students with the skills necessary entry-level as an electrician. Successful completion of the college program qualifies the students to take the State of Maine Journeyman’s Examination and to enter employment under a Master Electrician.