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   The $280B CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 was initiated to protect U.S. national security, enhance economic competitiveness, and accelerate American innovation. Constraining adversarial technical growth while shortening our supply chain gives the United States and its allies a competitive advantage in producing essential electronics-based solutions.
America must rely on the quality of our engineering schools to produce talented engineers who can innovate and create solutions that keep us ahead of our adversaries, some of whom, such as China, can easily outnumber us and our allies in manpower. Velocity in delivering a highly trained workforce to the industry is critical in the race against raw manpower.
The students at STRAC Institute are trained to solve problems during the design, prototyping, and manufacturing processes. STRAC graduates’ demonstrated competency in multiple skills enables them to deliver value by working alongside and supporting engineers, understanding drawings, producing working prototypes without multiple iterations and dramatically improving engineer productivity, ensuring timely quality production. STRAC Institute’s training program was born out of one veteran’s desire to build a business that would allow him to continue to serve his country and help his fellow veterans.
In 2009, John Shepard founded Veterans Assembled Electronics to fulfill Department of Defense contracts for modernizing electronics on legacy systems. Intent on hiring disabled veterans to perform the design and manufacturing required, Shepard’s team created a specialized curriculum to train veterans in skills essential to the electronics industry. In March 2020, after having graduated more than 365 disabled veterans, Veterans Assembled Electronics opened its doors to non-veteran students for the first time and became STRAC Institute. Today, as a licensed proprietary school in Rhode Island, North Carolina, and Florida, they serve those interested in a sustained electronics technician career. STRAC is also the sole provider of the U.S. Department of Labor Job Corps advanced electronics technician program.
The name “STRAC” reflects their military roots. It is both an
acronym for “Skills TRAining and Certification” but also army slang for a well-organized, well-turned-out soldier who can be depended on for good performance in any circumstance. That’s the kind of employee they work hard to forge, and the type of person their graduates become after completing their immersive, hands-on training program under the guidance of their certified instructors - most of whom are veterans and all of whom have industry experience.
By combining coursework with over 40 hands-on labs, STRAC students quickly master industry skills and earn certifications such as ETA’s CETa and Industrial CET that make them highly valuable to employers. STRAC’s 18-week training program is a viable alternative to traditional two and four-year college degree programs for adults who are beginning their careers or transitioning to a new one. STRAC graduates stand out as leaders, empowered to contribute to the success of their company, family, and self.
STRAC collaborates with employers to ensure that their program trains students in the skills that companies require and with the same equipment that is used on the job. From training to job placement, their program is designed to ensure a good fit between employee and employer, leading to a sustained partnership. With their Job Corps relationship and their initiative with NIST’s national MEP program, STRAC Institute is ideally positioned to meet and accelerate industry demand for the velocity and scaling required by the industry going forward.
Today, STRAC’s 650 graduates are employed at more than 230 corporations around the country, ranging from bakeries to U.S. Department of Defense contractors. STRAC was recognized by the SBA as the New England Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year in 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor as a 2020, 2021, the 2022 HIRE Vets Platinum Medallion Award winner, and Rhode Island Regional Office of Disabled American Veterans 2020 Small Employer of the Year award.
STRAC Institute can be contacted at 888-754-1383 or at
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