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NW-SCC student Tyler Scott finds his niche in the world of automation

Northwest-Shoals Community College student Tyler Scott had one goal in mind when he decided to enroll in the electrical technology program at NW-SCC: find a career that utilized his mind and not his back.

Scott has found his passion and is using the automation world to accomplish much more.

Scott, a Red Bay resident, received an academic scholarship to NW-SCC out of high school. He was drawn to three programs: carpentry, welding and electrical technology. He had basic knowledge of carpentry and welding from his family; however, to Scott, electrical technology focused on using your hands and mind to troubleshoot issues and give life to all things that use electricity.

“One of my first days in the program we watched a video of someone wiring a three-way switch,” said Scott. “At the time, I wasn’t sure what I was watching, but the ability to be able to create something and turn it on and off with a switch was amazing to me. I knew then that was something I wanted to do.”

It was not until he met NW-SCC night instructor Cort Rowland that he found his niche in the world of automation.

“I met Tyler as he was beginning his second year at NW-SCC. He had zero knowledge of the PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) world and did not know what field he wanted to spend his career in,” said Rowland. “There is no single path to a career in manufacturing. Some kids play with LEGOs; others find their career through a parent’s involvement in the industry. Tyler Scott has found his niche in the automation world by taking my class.”

According to electrical technology instructor Ray Morris, the electrical maintenance field is moving exclusively toward automation. “Companies today want to be able to turn a key or push a button and have all their manufacturing processes work correctly,” said Morris.

Having the problem-solving mind is something that separates electrical maintenance technicians in today’s industry. “Not everyone can do this,” said Scott. “You have to have the mind for this type of work.” Scott’s instructors agree that he does.

Scott is the programmer and team leader with his electrical class’ latest project to rewire and program a Modular Mecatronics System DS3 Automation Trainer. The trainer simulates a manufacturing assembly line in industry to assemble parts together, reject bad parts, and place them on a three-tier shelf with memory of locations.

Scott is currently working through the CO-OP program at Navistar with their maintenance department to hone his skills. After he graduates in the summer or fall of 2016, he hopes to take his automation skills to the next level as an electrical maintenance technician.

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