Manufacturing program coordinator
Kris Germana leads experienced team
Kris Germana, program coordinator and instructor for the RCC Manufacturing Technology program, joined the college’s faculty in 2004 after having worked in private industry. “Kris is knowledgeable and easy to get along with,” said program graduate Shane Loveland. “He cares about each one of us,”
After earning an Associate of Applied Science degree from RCC in manufacturing technology, Germana transferred to Oregon Institute of Technology where he received a bachelor’s in manufacturing engineering technology.
His favorite part of teaching, Germana says, is helping students make meaningful transformations in their lives. “It’s really great when you work with a student for two years and then they get a job and a career and can make a major life change,” he said. “They’ve bettered themselves and their lifestyle. Maybe they’re able to buy a house. Seeing someone struggle and helping them get through that struggle is really worthwhile,” he noted.
Germana also enjoys the collaborative, team approach he and the four part-time instructors bring to the program. Together they have decades of engineering and manufacturing experience. “We all have strengths in different areas and real life experience.”
RCC Manufacturing Technology graduate
Shane Loveland completed the RCC Manufacturing Technology program and went right to work for a White City manufacturing company that produces gunsmithing tools and gun parts. The company, which employees more than 30 workers, has numerous government contracts, and Loveland finds himself working on machinery that deals with tolerances as fine as a ten/thousandth of an inch.
Loveland, 47, lost his previous job at an electronics firm when the business closed its doors. Aiming to enhance his Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machine skills, he enrolled in RCC’s manufacturing classes. He also sharpened his math skills and learned the art of meeting tolerances not visible to the naked eye. “You have to stay right on top of it and hold the machine on track,” he explained. “You have to take a lot of pride in what you do or else you’re not going to be there.”
Loveland has since been promoted to night supervisor and received three raises. He credits instructor expertise and the individualized attention he received in RCC’s Manufacturing Technology program with making it all possible. “They’re an amazing group of talented professionals, all with strong engineering backgrounds,” Loveland said. “These instructors have a vast real world knowledge base. You can’t throw any kind of problem at them that they can’t figure out a solution to. “And they are all very approachable and personable,” he added. “They care about each one of the students.”
The program is taught at RCC’s Table Rock Campus in White City. The campus was converted from a Tyco Manufacturing electronics plant, the very place Loveland had worked 15 years as a senior trainer. It made for a strange homecoming. “I had to get my bearings,” Loveland said. “Where the West Commons is now is where the drill shop was.”
An RCC Foundation Morris Family Foundation scholarship helped Loveland pay for school, and the program’s open-entry lab, which allows students 32 hours a week access to the machinery, also gave him an edge in getting hired.
Loveland still turns to RCC instructors for help answering complex challenges. “I wouldn’t be where I am without those instructors,” he said. He especially credits program coordinator Kris Germana. “Kris has put together an amazing team,” Loveland said.
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