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JobsNOW training begins at VGCC

With an infusion of federal funds, a state job training program is underway at Vance-Granville Community College. Through community colleges across North Carolina, the JobsNOW “12 in 6” initiative provides training that can be completed in six months or less in a dozen high-demand occupations. At VGCC, students can choose from three JobsNOW opportunities, all focusing on jobs in the health care field: Nursing Assistant (CNA), Phlebotomy and Medical Billing & Coding.

A CNA class based at the college’s South Campus between Creedmoor and Butner became the first VGCC JobsNOW-affiliated course when students met for the first time on Oct. 26. The 14 men and women in the class will continue training through February 2010, and will learn nurse aide, medication aide and geriatric aide skills, in addition to employability skills provided by the VGCC Human Resources Development department. The students, under the direction of instructor Alyssa Brodie, started with classroom and lab training at South Campus. There, they learned about patient care techniques using patient simulator manikins, before they began working with real patients in clinical experiences at local nursing homes and hospitals.

“In partnership with the Kerr-Tar Workforce Development Board and local Employment Security Commission/JobLink offices, we have been able to recruit for the JobsNOW program, and connect students with WIA (Workforce Investment Act), which offers financial assistance to those who qualify,” said VGCC Human Resources Development coordinator Kyle Burwell, who oversees the program at the college along with JobsNOW coordinator Courtney M. Cooke. “We are currently recruiting for other CNA courses, as well as Phlebotomy and Medical Billing & Coding classes.” Burwell added that JobsNOW “allows us to educate and train people in our service area for lucrative employment and in turn, allows us to jump-start the local economy.” She said the program’s short time frame benefits employees by letting them get back to work quickly, while employers benefit from workers who are more educated and skilled. “JobsNOW will continue to offer as many class bundles as possible in the program’s allotted time, through October 31, 2010,” Burwell said.

JobsNOW at VGCC is supported by $250,000 in federal recovery funds, administered through the North Carolina Community College System and the North Carolina Department of Commerce. VGCC also received a $50,000 “Partnership in Progress” Golden LEAF Opportunities for Work (GLOW) grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation to support JobsNOW. The grant will help students in the JobsNOW program defray some of the costs of their tuition, fees, materials, uniforms and needed supplies. For more information on JobsNOW, call Courtney Cooke , coordinator of JobsNOW, at (252) 738-3427 or Kyle Burwell at (252) 738-3276.

Above: VGCC Nursing Assistant instructor Alyssa Brodie (left) teaches student Brittany Moss of Henderson about patient care using a manikin in the lab at the college’s South Campus in Granville County. (VGCC photo)