With rising costs of four-year college degree programs that don’t always end in employment, many young people and career changers are seeking other options when it comes to job training.
Programs like Rowan College at Burlington County’s Workforce Development Institute offer an alternative path to a career for those looking to sidestep years of student loan debt.
According to Director of Program Development and Instruction at RCBC Linda Bobo, the institute is a collaborative effort between RCBC’s partners at the American Jobs Center, the Burlington County Institute of Technology, economic development and regional planning groups and the Burlington County Library System.
“We work collaboratively to get people trained, certified and into employment,” said Bobo.
The stated mission of the institute is to provide job seekers with skills, training and educational resources needed to invest in and advance Burlington County’s workforce.
While the program can lead directly to employment, Bobo says it can also act as a stepping stone in someone’s career path, offering them employment while they consider possibly furthering their education.
The institute works with its system and employer partners to evaluate the job seeking climate and identify the occupations that are in demand. Its employer partners play a key role, says Bobo, helping the institute evaluate candidates for the program and develop curriculum and programs.
“They provide industry resources, they come in to talk to classes, provide tours and, most importantly upon program completion, they are hiring out of our programs,” said Bobo.
Although they cannot guarantee employment upon program completion, some of the programs like the advanced manufacturing machinist course have resulted in a 100 percent placement rate.
“We’ve been very successful in getting people who complete the programs into employment,” said Bobo.
In addition to its manufacturing programs, the institute offers programs in areas like health care, transportation, logistics and distribution, information technology and utility and construction.
According to Bobo, there is a skills gap in today’s job market where middle-skill jobs aren’t being filled. The institute is helping to train people in these skills and fill those needs with qualified candidates.
In addition to young people seeking to enter the workforce, Bobo says the program also attracts people who already have a degree and are seeking a career change.
“We work with a span of people coming from all walks of life,” said Bobo.
For more information on RCBC’s Workforce Development Program, check out rcbc.edu/workforce.