Rogers County Partners with NTC, Hires EAST Student for GIS Position

   

Rogers County Partners with NTC, Hires EAST Student for GIS Position
12/10/2009 10:28:01 AM

When Northeast Technology Center student David Barnoski started classes this fall, he hoped that through his training at NTC, he would eventually find a job and launch his career. He just didn’t know how quickly that would happen.

David, a Claremore resident, enrolled at NTC's Claremore campus and began in August in the school's EAST program. EAST-Environmental And Spatial Technology-is a project-driven approach to learning. This year marks the first year of the EAST program at NTC.

EAST focuses on student-driven service projects through the use of the latest in technology. EAST schools such as NTC are equipped with classrooms containing state-of-the-art workstations, servers, software, and accessories, including GPS/GIS mapping tools, architectural and Computer Aided Design software, 3D animation suites, and much more. The course facilitator helps students find problems in their local communities, and then learn to use these tools to solve them.

EAST instructor Brook Easton approached Brett Williston, IT Director for Rogers County and an NTC EAST advisory board member, asking him for projects that students could work on. Three NTC EAST students began working on a project constructing the Assessor Parcel Layer through GIS mapping technology. The Assessor Parcel Layer clearly defines the property ownership boundaries on all parcels of land within the county.

Students David Barnoski of Claremore, and Kathy Toone and Brian McClelland of Adair worked on the project one day a week as part of their studies. Barnoski showed an immediate affinity for the technology and picked up the GIS mapping software extremely quickly. So quickly, in fact, that Brett Williston decided to take a bold step.

He contacted NTC, and told both Rick Reimer and Brook Easton he would like to offer David a job. This would mean David couldn't finish his studies at NTC, but was already able to start a career in an excellent position in a field he was enjoying. NTC staff encouraged David and he took the full time position with the county."You know, our goal here is to help our students launch their careers and get great jobs, it just happened a little ahead of schedule this time," Reimer joked.

"David is a great asset to us," says Rogers County IT Director Brett Williston "I've been in this business since 1993, and I've never seen anyone pick it up this fast before." Williston says that the partnership with NTC has been invaluable for him, in creating a win-win for both the county and also the students. It gives the county extra resources to apply to projects, while giving the students hands-on experience they can't get anywhere else. "I believe one of the strengths of NTC is the hands-on and interactive learning," Williston said "As a business, when we need somebody else, I'm going to NTC."

Barnoski said what he loves most about the job is "....that it's computer based. It's like a puzzle with all of these pieces. It's a great challenge. Everyone is outgoing and treats me respectfully. It's exciting to be a pioneer in a field that is progressing."

The future job outlook is bright for Barnoski and other students following in his footsteps. More and more companies are hiring GIS professionals and the demand for trained GIS pros will continue to rise. Aside from the win-win aspect this partnership is bringing for Rogers County and NTC and its students, it likewise is creating a great winning situation for the public. Students are able to learn and work on public projects, which helps them learn a trade and career, while improving the community.

In the future, the county also plans to use NTC student assistance from the EAST program to work on the 911 addressing layer, where students will go out into the field and map GPS coordinates for houses, driveways, fire hydrants, etc. This will greatly improve public safety, as it will cut down on response times for police, fire, and ambulance responses.

 

 

 

 

 

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