Four students in Onondaga Community College's new Electromechanical Technology degree program are heading west for the summer. They've been selected for paid internships at Micron in Boise, Idaho. "I'm looking forward to moving across the country and seeing new things," said Kah-Lelle Akins (Central Square HS 2017). "I hope to show them that choosing Clay was a good decision. We are setting examples when we go out there."
Micron plans to build chip fabrication facilities in the Onondaga County Town of Clay, about 20 minutes north of the OCC campus. In response to Micron's decision, the college created a new Electromechanical Technology degree program which is now in its second semester.
During the fall semester, RJ Tinsley (Liverpool HS 2017) learned he had been the first student selected for the summer internship. "It was kind of hard to wrap my head around this," he said at the time. "You have no idea how much time I spent being anxious and stressed out trying to figure my life out."
Tinsley and Akins will be joined in Boise by Hunter Garrett (Baldwinsville HS 2022). He spent a year in an engineering program at OCC, then opted for the new Electromechanical Technology program. "I wanted something more hands-on. Professor (Mike) Grieb, who I had in a Solid Works class, told me Electromechanical Technology was coming. I switched into it and have liked it a lot more. Now I'm really excited about this opportunity."
Ericka Ruffin (Corcoran HS 2009) had already earned a bachelor's degree at Buffalo State and was working at Amazon in Liverpool when she decided to take advantage of its Career Choice program. It gives Amazon employees the opportunity to attend OCC tuition-free in the academic program of their choice. She enrolled in the Electromechanical Technology program, and now has a paid internship at Micron to look forward to. "I was highly interested in something new, a new career path. It means a lot to get this opportunity. I'd like to set an example for people in the inner city."