Forsyth Tech to offer free job-training program
FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — Forsyth Technical Community College is launching its second roll-out of a job-training initiative aimed at connecting unemployed or underemployed residents with unfilled skilled jobs in the Triad.
The back-to-work program provides free, short-term training for jobs that include electronic health-records specialists, electrical linemen, facility-maintenance technicians and welders.
It pays for registration fees, books and certification costs for approved classes. The training is being funded through a $173,870 state grant.
A series of 10 information sessions about the program will be held over the next three months, beginning Wednesday. Some classes will begin in January, and others will start in February and March.
Forsyth Tech said 138 out of 154 students completed the back-to-work training during the 2012-13 school year.
The 2012-13 grant period was limited to Forsyth and Stokes residents who had exhausted their unemployment benefits.
The 2013-14 grant provides funding to any North Carolina resident who is unemployed, underemployed or meets income guidelines.
The new grant period puts a special focus on unemployed military veterans and members of the N.C. National Guard.
The college said additional courses and training are available to those individuals for such positions as emergency medical technicians, firefighters and pharmacy assistants.
Also included in the overall training are employability skills testing, academic advising, counseling and career coaching. Participants can earn industry-recognized third-party credentials.
There has been significant demand among Triad hospitals and physician practices for electronic health-records specialists as health care groups are changing from paper to electronic records to meet requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
Business-specific training programs at Triad and Northwest North Carolina community colleges are projected to grow as they train the airplane mechanics, welders and machinists that the Triad needs to bolster its advanced manufacturing cluster.
Several prominent Triad manufacturers, including Caterpillar Inc., Deere Hitachi Construction Machinery Corp. and Timco Aerosystems, have expressed consistent need for welders as part of expanding production.
For example, the American Welding Society said the welding industry is facing a shortage of skilled workers in the country and expects a need for more than 238,000 new and replacement welders by 2019.
The average age of a welder is 55, according to Monica Pfarr, the society’s corporate director of workforce development.
For more information about the sessions, call 336-734-7430, 336-593-5402, ext. 1101, or go to http://www.forsythtech.edu.