SANFORD - Susan Bryant, of Broadway, was all smiles as she received two medical certificates May 27 during Central Carolina Community College's Continuing Education Medical Programs graduation.
Those certificates mean the difference between being a laid-off worker and having new skills for the job market. Bryant had been laid off from Moen in September after working there for 33 years. With her new skills, she has already found part-time employment at Central Carolina Hospital.
"I am tickled to death to be working," she said.
Bryant is a success story for the JobsNOW: 12 in 6 workforce development program at Central Carolina C.C. Gov. Bev Perdue initiated JobsNOW in 2009 as a statewide response to the recession. The goal is to retrain North Carolina's unemployed workers with in-demand job skills and get them back in the workforce as quickly as possible.
The state's community colleges each have the challenge of offering at least 12 localized JobsNOW-funded workforce training programs that can be completed in no more than six months. By putting North Carolinians back to work in a short period of time, JobsNOW is also expected to boost the state's economy, according to Perdue.
The first round of CCCC's JobsNOW training, during the winter and spring, focused primarily on culinary arts ServSafe training in Chatham County, welding in Harnett County, and health occupation classes in Lee County.
A second round of classes starts soon with an expansion of job training opportunities for unemployed workers. With the expansion, the college's Chatham, Harnett and Lee campuses are each offering more training specifically for jobs available in their service areas. JobsNOW is a separate program from the continuing education and curriculum workforce training programs that have always been an important part of the college.
In the second round, JobsNOW programs offered include banking pre-teller, culinary ServSafe and hospitality essentials, basic office skills, welding, and certified fiber optic technician.
A greater variety of health occupation programs are also available: drug collection specialist, EKG technician, health activities director, medical terminology, paramedical examiner, pharmacy technician, phlebotomy technician, Nurse Aide I, and Nurse Aide II.
"A number of students in the first round of JobsNOW programs received job offers even before finishing their coursework," said Cindy Ramsey, CCCC's Lee County director of Continuing Education. "We look forward to similar results with our expanded offerings."
Career Readiness Certificate training is part of each JobsNOW program at the college. CRC training, provided through the college's Human Resources Development office, teaches students how to prepare resumes, search for jobs, dress professionally and present themselves well in an interview situation. North Carolina employers are increasingly using the CRC as part of their hiring processes, so JobsNOW students have an additional certification to bring to their job search.
"I hadn't done a resume or been on a job interview in 33 years," Bryant said. "I really benefited from the whole JobsNOW program. JobsNOW is a mighty fine opportunity for people."
JobsNOW is a joint project of the N.C. Department of Commerce's Workforce Development Division and the North Carolina Community College System. Local Employment Security Commission offices refer clients who need job retraining to the college. Unemployed workers may qualify for assistance from the Workforce Development Act to pay for their job retraining. When the clients complete their JobsNOW training, the ESC assists them in finding jobs.
Central Carolina C.C.'s JobsNOW is funded by a $300,000 grant, part of the state's $13.4 million JobsNOW grant from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
For more information about JobsNOW or other short-term job training at Central Carolina Community College, go online to www.cccc.edu/jobsnow
or contact the Continuing Education office at one of the college's campuses: Chatham, (919) 545-8033; Harnett, (910) 814-8823; Lee, (919) 775-2122, ext. 7793; or JobsNOW coordinator Theresa Cry by email at firstname.lastname@example.org