As UVU has developed, one program that has always brought people here to learn has been the trades program. Now that UVU is officially a university, the trades programs will be getting a face-lift.

More than 15,000 students with diverse backgrounds are currently enrolled in trades programs at UVU. Despite the buzz surrounding the possibility of cutting the trades program as the college becomes a university, those 15,000 students will stay right where they are: in class.

Career and technical education classes are some of the most successful classes on campus, placing 8 out of every 10 graduates into jobs in their field following graduation.

Not only will the university be keeping the trades program, but they will be boosting it. The U.S Department of Labor approved a $1.7 million grant for the School of Technology and Computing.

With the grant, UVU will be adding a new mechatronics program, which is a combination of computer science and business, using engineering principles to study complex machines and hybrid systems. UVU will be the only school in the state to offer an AAS degree in mechatronics.

The construction management program has also undergone a few changes. Thanks to Clyde Companies Inc., UVU will soon be the only trades program in the region to study the construction of roads and bridges.

“UVSC is committed to retaining the community college feel and purpose with open enrollment, yet we soon will add the unique advantages of university status,” said Susan Thackeray, director of Career and Technical Education.

UVU students will still have the option of short-term training with immediate employment or the choice to continue along the road to more advanced degrees.

Hopefully, the grant and the university status will help UVU’s trades program stay on the cutting edge of new technology, theory and practice as society’s technology becomes faster and more environmentally conscious.