Local News

Wake Tech adds six-month job retraining

Posted August 13, 2009 4:01 a.m. EDT
Updated August 13, 2009 6:48 p.m. EDT

Wake Technical Community College is the latest community college in the state to launch a JobsNOW training program that can be completed in six months or less.

Wake Tech officials on Thursday announced focused training programs in health care, office administration, building trades, customer service and biotechnology.

Even before the announcement, Wake Tech President Stephen Scott said students were showing an interest in those fields. He said the new programs “identify what are the jobs of the future.”

Job seeker Maria Malvaso said she will be taking advantage of the new medical office occupation courses.

“I think it's an absolutely growing field," she said.

Malvaso said looking for a job during the recession has been tough. She hopes the Wake Tech courses will give her an edge.

“(I will) absolutely go through all the steps necessary to take what I know, my knowledge, and integrate it into something brand new so I can have a future,” Malvaso said.

These new short-term programs begin this fall:

  • Certified nursing assistant: focuses on basic nursing skills for providing care to patients in a variety of health care settings. 
  • Medical health care office occupation: provides competencies in medical terminology, billing and diagnostic coding processes and health insurance.
  • Office assistant: focuses on keyboarding, software applications, spreadsheets and database management.
  • Hospitality: provides customer service training.
  • HVAC/plumbing: focuses on the fundamentals of the home-building trade.
  • BioWork: equips students for entry-level employment as process technicians.

Due to wide-spread unemployment, Scott anticipates interest in the programs will be high. Eventually, the school may have to limit the number of people taking the courses.

“We're afraid that we won't have sufficient resources,” Scott said.

Classes will be filled on a first come, first serve basics.

Community colleges statewide are using federal recovery funds to quickly train students in high-demand fields including carpentry, plumbing, welding and auto body repair.

Students who are unemployed may be eligible to enroll in JobsNOW courses for free.

“The sooner we can get workers trained, the better chance they have to get back into the work force,” said Susan Jackson, vice president and chief learning officer at WakeMed.

Durham Technical Community College also announced the following JobsNOW, short-term training programs Thursday:

  • Nursing assistant/health unit coordinator: provides non-technical medical office training and customer service skills.
  • Green landscape designers/solar energy technicians: focuses on sustainable landscape and solar energy systems.
  • Phlebotomist: develop skills for proper collection of blood and other specimens.
  • Industrial maintenance technician: general maintenance procedures as well as basic refrigeration and heating technology skills.
  • Medical coder: study medical terminology and other coding systems.
  • Under car care technician: focuses on suspension, steering, brake and emissions systems.
  • Biotechnology/pharmaceutical process technician: analyzing, evaluating and communicating about data to support biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

Nearly every one of the state's 58 community colleges will be launching JobsNOW programs by the end of the year.

Schools in Stanley, Caldwell, Haywood, Montgomery, Anson and Union counties have already done so.