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May 14, 2013

Blinn Workforce Education broadens career paths

Career-ready courses equip learners for work

Blinn College’s Workforce Education kicked the doors of opportunity open recently for careers in demand with a showcase of courses available to the public and graduating high school students.

More than 125 area students attended the Blinn College – Bryan campus presentation geared toward hands-on careers in welding, electrical, air conditioning/heating and other technical trades.

Blinn’s offerings have expanded to meet the exploding demand for healthcare workers with programs for certified nurse aid, pharmacy technician, certified medication aide, and phlebotomy. Attendees learned about the business end of the healthcare industry, as featured in Blinn’s Medical Clinical Office Assistant Program.

Jana Bowers, a program manager for Workforce Education, tailored the event to real-world options that take a fraction of the time—and cost—of traditional four-year programs.
“We brought in current and former students to show prospective students exactly what we have to offer, and hopefully draw them to Blinn,” Bowers said.

Bowers geared the event to area high school juniors and seniors.

“Our programs provide people with skills that they can take anywhere they want to go,” Bowers said. “Or, they can use their new skills locally. And if someone needs an in-demand skill to turn to later in their career—for example they’ve been downsized out of a job—we can help them, too.”

Gayla Briles, who is also a program manager for Workforce Education, explained that the growing demand for a trained local workforce encompasses healthcare and other expanding industries.

“We’re also experiencing a construction boom, and people want to hire locally,” Briles said. We have to train the workforce to be ready for hire,” Briles said. “People don’t always think about the variety of skills needed in different areas. Spaceships and airplanes need air conditioning, and cargo ships need repairs. We prepare students to fill those roles.”

Registration is currently open for anyone interested in taking summer workforce courses. An

“Introduction to Social Media” course runs June 4-13, and “Introduction to Culinary Arts” will run July 17-22.

To learn more about summer courses, visit: www.blinn.edu/workforce.