Workforce Preparation

September 2017
At 19, Dalton Sasin’s wizardry with a welding wand is taking him places. In July, he began a 20-week specialized welding training program in Port Arthur with Cheniere Energy, who recruited him right out of high school. “It’s extra training that’s going to help me down the road, so I’m looking forward to it,” said Sasin, who learned to weld in classes at Ingleside High School. “I’m glad I went into the program. Now I’m getting a career out of it.” Once he completes the Cheniere training, which he said pays $23.50 per hour plus a $60 per diem, Sasin plans to complete his associate’s degree in...
July 2017
Today’s employers know that skilled workers don’t grow on trees. Sometimes, you have to grow your own talent. With rapid advances in technology, job titles like Smartphone Application Developer and Patient Care Technician simply didn’t exist a decade ago, so qualified candidates are few. Employers scrambling to find workers with the right stuff often turn to Norwalk Community College (NCC) in Norwalk, Connecticut. That’s because NCC tracks industry trends and readily deploys associate degree and certificate programs to produce workers who can hit the ground running. Employers serve on the...
April 2017
Arapahoe Community College (ACC) has accepted from the Castle Rock Town Council the investment of $3 million in infrastructure reimbursement to construct a Collaboration Campus. The campus will bring together education, business, and the community to create a unique resource for delivering seamless education and workforce training to Castle Rock. Educational partners Colorado State University (CSU) and Douglas County School District (DCSD) will articulate with ACC to create a smooth pathway from high school diploma to associate degree to bachelor’s degree. ACC will continue its commitment to...
March 2017
A U.S. Navy veteran with 25 years of service, Angela Muhammad is working toward a new career that’s close to her heart: building affordable homes for single parents and the elderly. “I’ve done missionary work and I’ve seen how we have a deficiency in clean, safe, affordable housing,” said Muhammad, 50, a second-year student in Del Mar College’s Architecture/Drafting Technology program. “I’ve always had an interest in how things are built.” “There’s a need for this program,” she continued, taking a break in the Architectural Design Studio, where she’s using glue and chipboard to make a small...
January 2017
This fall, HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, began offering a fully online two-year associate degree in building construction management that prepares students for the growing demand in construction careers. HACC is one of the only schools in the nation to offer this program fully online. In addition, it is the only community college in Pennsylvania to provide the opportunity to complete the program online in two years. “Word is getting out and we have fielded inquiries from Western Pennsylvania and the D.C. metropolitan area. Construction companies in Central Pennsylvania have...
December 2016
Bob Klepac is breaking down the notion that architecture means four walls and a roof. For example, he told a Del Mar College class one morning last summer that one of his former students is designing a meal tray for passenger jets at Boeing. “He’s making over $120,000 a year doing that,” he said. Klepac, a technical drafting instructor, was a lively observer that day as students in his Technical Animation and Rendering class presented their final projects. The 12-week course introduced them to three-dimensional (3D) computer modeling and the software language of computer-aided design. Their...
October 2016
The computer hacking of major corporations, government offices, and banks is a growing threat. Dozens of high profile cases in the news recently highlight the issue, but there is a solution: cyber defense. Companies across the world are expanding and refining their security systems. Volunteer State Community College (Vol State) in Gallatin, Tennessee, is responding to the need for cyber defense expertise with a new degree concentration as part of a rapidly growing realm of information technology education being offered at the college. The reason for the expansion is based on employment...
April 2016
Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, has been serving the firefighting community through its 14-week fire academy—the only open enrollment career fire academy in Pennsylvania—since 1989. Fire departments from across Pennsylvania send their newly hired firefighters to the Sen. John J. Shumaker Public Safety Center (PSC) at HACC to train alongside pre-service cadets. HACC has conducted an average of two fire academies each year, resulting in almost 300 career firefighter graduates. In June 2015, HACC celebrated the graduation of eight cadets in its...
April 2016
The Fast Track to Manufacturing Program at Indian River State College is just what its name implies: quick, efficient, and effective training for manufacturing jobs. The two-year-old program has proved to be a valuable resource for companies throughout Florida’s four-county Treasure Coast and individuals wanting to gear up for employment as manufacturing rebounds on Florida’s East Coast. One reason for the program’s success is involvement of the college’s Manufacturing Advisory Council, composed of manufacturers sharing real-world experience. In addition, Career Source Research Coast, a...
March 2016
Tyler Hill, a Sierra College Electro Mechanical Engineering major from Lincoln, CA, got a job working for NCR Corporation in part because of his participation in the Hacker Lab Startup Hustle, a boot camp for entrepreneurs held in fall 2015. Students and Sacramento area entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for the next Startup Hustle by March 17. Sierra College students can join Hacker Lab for $12 per month and participate in Startup Hustle for free. When Sierra College and the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies joined Hacker Lab in establishing a maker and co-working space, it was...
February 2016
A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice paved the way for Leticia Cervantes to become a licensed private investigator. But after a few years in the business, usually checking on unfaithful spouses for local attorneys, she craved a more reliable income and regular work hours. Her solution: Go back to school and learn cosmetology. “I made the move because the economy is so unpredictable,” said Cervantes, 37, who in December received a certificate in cosmetology from Del Mar College. “My sister has always taught me that in times of economic crisis, people won’t hire a private investigator, but...
February 2016
For the nine community colleges in California’s San Diego and Imperial counties, “strength in numbers” is more than just an axiom. Through combining their forces—and their voices—college leaders have found that they are able to deliver a powerful message to legislators, the media, and the public. Representatives from the San Diego and Imperial County colleges meet monthly as part of a consortium known as the San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association (SDICCCA). The six college districts, serving a total of more than 200,000 students, range from the San Diego district, the...
January 2016
Gamers, animators, and filmmakers now have an unparalleled training ground with the August opening of the Miami Animation and Gaming International Complex (MAGIC) at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus.  It is the first facility of its kind at a public higher education institution in Florida and one of only a handful in the nation. MAGIC is a game-changer for animators, gamers, filmmakers, health care professionals, and many others, serving as a training center in the bourgeoning area of 3-D animation used in so many industries and fields.  “This new state-of-the-art facility will be the...
November 2015
Onondaga Community College (OCC), in Syracuse, New York, began educating the next wave of nuclear energy industry workers in the fall of 2013 when it became one of only 36 colleges in the country to offer an A.A.S. degree in Nuclear Energy Technology (NET). The program was created in direct response to a workforce demand brought to the college by the nuclear energy industry. It estimates approximately half of its workforce will be eligible to retire during the next 10 years. The program and its curriculum were funded initially by a grant from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a gift...
October 2015
The Wind Energy Department at Cloud County Community College (CCCC), Concordia, KS, held a two-day, 12-hour Introduction to Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Community Enrichment class in June 2015. The class gave any interested community member the opportunity to gain hands-on experience flying, configuring, and taking photos with UAVs. Those attending also had the opportunity to learn about the current FAA regulations for UAVs. Monte Poersch, CCCC wind energy instructor, taught the class. CCCC Wind Energy instructor demonstrates how to fly a drone The Wind Energy Department at CCCC has...
September 2015
Workforce programs have long been acknowledged as centers of innovation on every community college campus, and now a new evaluation system can help college workforce leaders demonstrate the learning quality of their instructional programs. The Workforce Education Implementation Evaluation (WEIE) framework, developed by SRI International in Menlo Park, California, is based on a six-year case study supported by the National Science Foundation of five workforce education programs across the United States. It features tools and concepts that make it possible for program leaders to assess the hard...

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