CCAC to put workers on career fast track
By Mike Cronin, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Welders and EMTs, please apply.
Wastewater operators and information technology-support specialists, too.
"The jobs are on the state's high-priority list," said Judy Savolskis, interim vice president for work force development at Community College of Allegheny County. "If you're trained in one of these areas, you will probably find a job."
Beginning next month, CCAC will offer accelerated-certificate, diploma and other types of programs in 18 career areas, including those, said Mary Frances Archey, CCAC's vice president for learning and student development.
"When we started to see the economic conditions in the area, we knew individuals wanted to get back to work much faster than a traditional community-college student who takes semester-long classes," Archey said.
Students can acquire skills, or "retool" existing ones, in three to six months, Savolskis said.
That's a lot faster than many students perhaps thought they could obtain necessary training, said David Hoovler, CCAC's spokesman.
The compressed programs ensure that working people, and people looking for work, aren't "sidelined longer than is really necessary," Hoovler said.
"This program could change people's minds," he said. "It shows them what they can do."
Two programs are almost booked, Archey said: Phlebotomy, the practice of drawing blood, and welding.
Welding is so popular that CCAC offers a class that begins around midnight and continues until roughly 3 a.m., Savolskis said. Students can take welding during mornings, afternoons and evenings five days a week -- and several hours on Saturdays, she said.
"The thing about welding is that it is used in all types of occupations, from working on bridges to the automotive industry," Savolskis said.
Other areas, such as IT, offer people the opportunity to update abilities to current standards, she said.
"That's important for the employer and the employee."
CCAC officials plan to assess the effectiveness and popularity of the condensed schedule and the classes offered, and then decide whether to continue it, Archey said.
"It's possible we'll keep a certain portion of this format all the time. We're already talking about what we're going to do in the summer and next fall."
Computer and Business Programs
• Basic Computer-aided Drafting -- South campus (West Mifflin)
• Information Technology Support -- North campus (McCandless)
• Project Management Boot Camp -- West Hills center (Oakdale)
• Property & Casualty Insurance Career Preparation -- South campus
Health Care and Child Care
• Child Care -- Allegheny campus (North Shore)
• Emergency Medical Technician -- Allegheny campus
• Home Health Attendant -- Downtown center (Stanwix Street)
• Medical Office Manager -- Allegheny campus
• Nurse Aide Training -- Downtown center or Boyce campus (Monroeville)
• Phlebotomy -- Boyce campus
• Drinking Water Operator -- West Hills center (Oakdale)
• Wastewater Operator Certificate Program -- West Hills center
Manufacturing and Technical Programs
• Advanced Manufacturing/Integrated Systems Technology "Mechatronics" -- West Hills center (Oakdale)
• Electrical Motor Repair -- West Hills center
• Electrical Systems -- West Hills center
• Mechanical Systems -- West Hills center
• Programmable Electrical Controls -- West Hills center
• Welding -- West Hills center