When companies lay off workers, Craven Community College’s (CCC) Workforce Development (WFD) is there to help train and prepare them for new jobs. At the same time, the WFD team is continually in touch with companies and community organizations to develop training courses that fit their needs over the long term. In addition to traditional training that has become a mainstay, such as nursing aide, WFD follows trends to offer emerging training, such as Lean Six Sigma.
Community colleges have long reflected the diverse and unique needs of the community it serves. This is evident in the variety of classes and certificates offered by the college’s WFD program. Hundreds of classes are available, from accounting to cosmetology, and from robotics to welding. WFD programs offers fast training opportunities, such as a one-day forklift operating certificate. WFD also offers longer career prep such as a 1,096-hour emergency medical technician (EMT) paramedic program.
Some WFD classes and certificates are also stepping stones to diploma and degree opportunities at CCC. For example, students completing WFD’s 16-week FAA Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) exam preparation course can apply those credit hours toward an associate’s degree in aviation systems technology (AST). These AST students can finish in two semesters with eight additional classes. One student that has taken this pathway from WFD to degree is David Oravecz. Oravecz obtained his A&P certification in 2009 and completed his A&P associate’s degree in 2013. During this time, he also became a part-time A&P instructor at CCC and was promoted in his full-time job at Fleet Readiness Center East, where he has worked since he retired as a U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant in 2006.
“I know for a fact that I would not have been promoted in my job and would not have pursued additional education if I hadn’t first completed the A&P exam prep course,” said Oravecz. Oravecz credits his CCC instructors for his success as a student, instructor and aviation professional. Oravecz will complete his bachelor degree in aviation management from Southern Illinois University (SIU), CCC’s education partner, in 2015.
“All of our WFD courses allow people to enhance their skills immediately,” said Robin Matthews, interim dean of workforce development programs at CCC. Matthews added, “Other courses also serve as pre-requisites to diploma and degree programs. I think we’ll continue to see credit being awarded where it is warranted and an increased collaboration between workforce development and degree programs.”
WFD classes are offered all year long. The WFD team also works closely with businesses to create the tailored training to equip their workforces with essential and emerging skills. For more information about workforce development programs, contact Matthews at 252-638-7248, or go to www.cravencc.edu/wfd
Deborah Kania is the director of marketing, communications and development liaison at Craven Community College.
Article originally appeared in the New Bern Sun Journal.