Pointing to an American worker skills “gap”, a White House report published last month recommended a way forward from the nagging problems for too many adults of ongoing unemployment and underemployment, even as the economy recovers. Even for millions of working Americans, the report noted, “no matter how motivated and reliable they may be,” promotions “into jobs at higher wages” remain hard to get because of “the skills deficiencies they face.”
To address those deficiencies, the nation’s community colleges, partnering with others, are leading the way to solutions, said the report (‘Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity’), by successfully preparing Americans for “middle-class jobs” with “the knowledge, skills, and industry-relevant education needed to get on the pathway to successful career.”
For recent high school graduates and older adults in the Potomac Highlands, Eastern WV Community and Technical College has taken up the training gap torch, offering affordable opportunities to acquire skills and knowledge that employers look for when hiring.
Learners can register for Eastern’s fall semester through August 15. Classes begin August 18. For more information about financial aid opportunities, programs of study and workforce training, call 304-434-8000, or toll-free: 877-982-2322. Or check the College’s website: ‘www.easternwv.edu’.
Evening & Online Classes
“Our Learners’ Support Services staff will sit with everyone who calls or comes in to talk about her or his individual interests and goals,” said Monica Wilson, associate director of admissions. “And together we’ll plan out a learning program that best suits each person’s needs.”
Under Eastern’s open admissions policy, anyone with a high school diploma or GED equivalent may register as a regular student, for either a full- or part-time learning program. And because many Eastern students have jobs, children and busy lives, to fit their schedules the college offers an ample selection of day, evening, classroom and online classes, Wilson noted.
“Those include skill set, certificate and associate degree programs in job fields most in-demand today,” she said. “For example, computer applications, information technology, education, healthcare, business and accounting.”
Learners may also choose programs to prepare for jobs in wind energy technology, automotive technology and early childhood development. And many students decide to prepare for transfer to a bachelor degree program for further study.
To make the skills learning manageable, most students at Eastern receive some type of financial aid, noted Amanda Sites, director of financial aid. In the last three years, the total amount of aid given out by the college has doubled.
“Too often, people think that college is beyond their means and reach,” Sites said. “So we work with every student as an individual, and working together, we usually find a way to make it happen.”
As Eastern’s enrollment grows from year to year, students continue to credit the personal, one-on-one attention and support from staff and faculty that has become the college’s hallmark. That support includes a strong tutoring program, with in-person tutors and online resources, both at regularly scheduled hours and by special appointment.
“We believe that our ability to know and work with our students as individuals impacts their learning success in a positive way,” emphasized Deb Backus, Eastern’s division chair for general studies, health and education. “So if ever any students feel that extra help and attention might benefit them, it’s always available for them individually,” she said.
For more information about Eastern’s financial aid opportunities, programs of study, workforce training and community education and events, call toll free: 877-982-2322; or check the College’s website: “www.easternwv.edu”.
Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College is a comprehensive and equal opportunity community and technical college that makes educational resources accessible to the families, communities, and employers of Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral, Pendleton and Tucker counties. Eastern is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.