Urban League collaborates on job training

Community colleges are working with the National Urban League on job training for lower-income adults, reports Community College Daily.

For example, Wichita Area Technical College (WATC) partners with the Urban League of Kansas on training for jobs as nursing assistants and home health aides. Ninety-five percent of graduates pass the state certification exam.

YouthBuild students learn construction skills at Monroe Community College.

YouthBuild students learn construction skills at Monroe Community College.

The Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) has been working with the Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan since 2009 to train and employ laid-off workers. Students work about 20 hours a week at the college in clerical or computer jobs for a stipend paid by the Detroit Urban League. WCCD also helps them with resume writing, interviewing, networking and developing an employment plan.

The Urban League of Greater New Orleans  started working this fall with Delgado Community College and Nunez Community College  to provide dual-enrollment vocational classes for high school students.  Career pathways include industrial technology and maintenance, welding, oil and gas technology, and the construction trades.

Construction skills are the focus of a program for young high school dropouts in Rochester, New York. The Urban League of Rochester provides GED instruction and training in life skills and job readiness. Monroe Community College (MCC) instructors teach hands-on classes and YouthBuild teaches construction skills.

Students accepted into the program undergo two weeks of “mental toughness training” to gauge if they’re ready for a rigorous nine-month program, said Shelia James, ULR vice president for program planning. Once they complete what she calls a mini-boot camp, with an exercise routine led by a drill sergeant and motivational guest speakers, a panel interviews the participants and decides if they’re ready for YouthBuild.

There are 13 students learning entry-level carpentry in the current cohort, said Kathleen Alongi of MCC’s Economic and Workforce Development Center. The course also covers some electrical and plumbing basics, safety issues, power tools, construction materials and “construction math,” which deals with such topics as calculating cubic feet and reading blueprints, and employability skills, like the importance of showing up on time and how to behave at a worksite.

Students can earn a nationally recognized pre-apprenticeship certificate from the Home Builders Institute plus credentials in work readiness, safety and CPR. They gain experience by building houses for Habitat for Humanity and local construction companies.

Students train in aviation, manufacturing

With the help of $2 billion in federal job training grants community colleges are helping students earn industry-recognized credentials that will show they’re ready for work, reports Community College Times.

Wichita Area Technical College (WATC) in Kansas is the leader of a consortium that will use its $14.9-million grant to develop industry credentials for the aviation industry. WATC and its partners — Tulsa Community College (Oklahoma), Ivy Tech Community College (Indiana), Guilford Technical Community College (North Carolina) and Edmonds Community College (Washington)—are all located near aviation manufacturing facilities, said Sheree Utash, vice president for academic affairs at WATC. The Wichita area, for example, has Spirit AeroSystems, Bombardier Learjet, Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft plants nearby.

Aviation industry professionals will help develop the curriculum, which will be used by all colleges in the consortium.

The consortium will develop six stackable aviation credentials: sheet metal assembly, composite repair, computer numerical control (machining), electrical assembly, quality assurance and health and safety. The colleges will also create content for online courses and lab projects and implement transfer and articulation agreements.

Other community colleges are using federal grants to fund training in high-tech manufacturing. Harper College in Illinois is leading a statewide network that will create a curriculum leading to stackable, portable certificates in advanced manufacturing. Students will specialize in mechatronics/automation, numerical controls, metal fabrication and supply chain management/logistics.