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Accelerated Training Programs Named STLCC 2010 Innovation of the Year

May 10, 2010

A series of short-term training programs designed to prepare participants quickly for in-demand jobs was named St. Louis Community College’s 2010 Innovation of the Year.

Led by the college’s Workforce and Community Development (WCD) division, the accelerated job training programs were developed based on workforce intelligence derived from a State of the St. Louis Workforce Report in July 2009, in which more than 1,500 employers, 447 dislocated workers and six company case studies provided feedback on the effects of the recession, post-recovery plans, challenges and plans for re-employment. In that report, 63 percent of displaced workers indicated that short-term training programs would be most beneficial to them.

WCD, along with internal and external partners, developed a series of accelerated programs that reflect actual job tasks and skills required to do the job classification associated with the programs. They include both classroom instruction and hands-on application. Graduates gain entry-level skills required in the specific field.

"We are pleased to have partnered with a number of internal and external innovators to develop these programs," said Rod Nunn, STLCC’s vice chancellor for workforce and community development. "Based on real-time workforce intelligence, accelerated training will offer hope to many of our region’s unemployed. This is just one illustration of why community colleges are at the forefront of the nation’s economic recovery."

New programs developed were: information technology help desk technician, home energy auditor training, Microsoft certified application specialist in Word 2007 and Excel 2007, industrial maintenance training, environmental remediation technician, home health caregiver, audio visual production technician and patient care technician. WCD also partnered with AmerenUE and Boeing to develop industry-specific programs that lead directly to potential employment with these partners. Since the inception of these accelerated programs, 370 individuals have been trained; 228, or 62 percent, have found employment even in the current difficult economic climate.

"Our accelerated job training programs are an important step along the journey of lifelong learning, providing a valuable bridge back to the work force for many," Nunn added. "As a next step, we encourage all of our adult learners to consider advanced educational and career pathways available through our certificate and degree program offerings."

The League for Innovation in the Community College established the Innovation of the Year Award to recognize an individual or group from each of the 20 member college districts who have use creative, productive approaches to meet new needs or solve old problems. Criteria for the award are quality, efficiency, cost effectiveness, replication, creativity and timeliness. STLCC is a founding member of the League for Innovation.