Community colleges offer many short-term training programs that can lead to a stable career in a high-demand industry. Working in one of our region’s high-demand industries (agribusiness, construction, health care, information technology, manufacturing) can mean high growth potential, job security and higher wages.
To learn more about training programs through community colleges, we spoke with Julie Parks, interim dean at the School of Workforce Development at Grand Rapids Community College.
Why should job seekers consider a community college training program in a high-demand career?
Students in their short-term training programs get the following benefits:
- There is direct employer involvement. Employers review the curriculum and some even teach in the program. That means what you are learning will be used on the job when you go to work.
- The programs build confidence in a career choice. Participants know they have the skills to be successful and a head start when they begin their career.
- Someone who has earned a certificate or credential usually starts at a higher wage and/or can advance more quickly in an organization because of what they have learned.
What programs are “hot” right now at GRCC?
The hottest programs for students right now include an accelerated pre-apprenticeship line worker program in partnership with Consumers Energy, as well as:
- Construction Electrical Apprentice Program
- Nursing Programs
- Cybersecurity Basics Program
Programs with current openings and immediate jobs available after completing the program include:
- HVAC (Heating, Cooling, Air Conditioning)
- CNC Machining
- Public Works
- Mechanical Design Certificate
- Industrial Technology Certificate
What advice do you have for someone who is nervous about going back to school or changing careers?
Parks indicated community colleges provide a variety of resources, such as free tutoring services, advising and career coaching to help their students succeed.
For those concerned about the cost of going back to school, Parks said there are many different funding streams to help make short-term training affordable. Currently, there are co-cost options available through the American Recovery Act.
“If you want to improve your skills, now is the time,” she said.
Ready to get started? You can check in with GRCC’s Educational Training Specialists to schedule a time to talk at 616-234-3800 or email workforcetrainin[email protected].
Looking for a job? Registration for West Michigan Works’ monthly virtual job fair is open until 5 p.m. Monday, August 16. Visit westmiworks.org/virtual-job-fair to learn more and register.
— Employment Expertise is provided by West Michigan Works. Learn more about how they can help at westmiworks.org or your local service center.