Record-Breaking Year for GC Continuing Ed Workforce Development

It was a banner year for the Garrett College Continuing Education and Workforce Development Division (CEWD). Statistics at the close of Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 showed that CEWD had the highest enrollment ever at 9,700 students, which was increase of 30 percent. A record number of 668 classes were conducted reflecting an increase of nearly 26 percent.

Jean Tressler, Coordinator of Operations for CEWD, compiled the reports on the year’s data. “What we are seeing in the numbers is a direct result of the combined efforts of the staff members who develop programming at all of our county sites,” she said.

CEWD classes are offered at the Northern Outreach Center (NOC) in Grantsville, The Career Technology Training Center (CTTC) in Accident, the McHenry campus, the Garrett College Community Aquatic & Recreation Complex (CARC), the Southern Outreach Center (SOC) in Oakland and a number of other community locations. Each location offers a unique specialty in addition to a variety of classes.

The NOC, home of the Garrett College Mountaintop Truck Driving Institute, offers a number of vocational courses. Terry Beachy, director of the NOC, also provides a rotating slate of classes that include medical coding and billing, computer, and personal interest. “We had substantial growth this year in the number of people we were able to help achieve their goals of starting new careers,” she said.

The CTTC is a multi-purpose learning center supporting Continuing Education/Workforce Development, GC Credit Classes, the business community, and government agencies. The current roster of classes includes training in welding, machining, and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) classes. CTTC director, Carol Mowbray Brooks said new programs are planned such as an expansion of the welding program, Veterinary Assistant Training, Construction Technology, and Certificate in Apartment/Building Maintenance Technician.

On the McHenry campus CEWD offers contract trainings for businesses as well as personal interest and intellectual growth classes. These courses are coordinated by programming staff Connie Meyers, Susan Fowler, Maney Gale and Tressler. In addition, all the Emergency Medical Services and Paramedic trainings are coordinated at this site by Tressler although much of this training is conducted at rescue squad and fire company locations.

“Since much of the EMS training we offer involves residents of both Allegany and Garrett counties, we try to place the classes where they are most needed and most convenient for the majority. One of our goals is to enhance the EMS training through the use of technology and program review and improvement.” Tressler stated.

Meyers collaborates with local businesses and agencies to develop trainings for employees. “During this past fiscal year I focused on creating more specialized contract trainings while maintaining the business trainings we traditionally host at the college,” she said.

Fowler coordinates the CNA trainings and develops class offerings that provide intellectual growth and stimulation for older adults as well as those that provide leisure activity skills. “I’m finding an increase in interest among older people for courses that encourage discussion and are thought provoking,” she noted.

The opening of the CARC on the McHenry campus expanded the menu of health and fitness classes offered. Gale has set up a wide range of courses for people of all ages, as well as highly praised “I Can Swim!” program for all kindergarten-age children in Garrett County. “It is great to have the CARC facilities for offering a wide variety of fitness programs,” she said.

At the SOC, located in the old Armory facility in Oakland, director Patricia Baer coordinates the Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs offered free-of-charge throughout the county in addition to other skills classes to improve employment opportunities. “Over the many years that Garrett College has provided the ABE classes we have prepared numerous candidates to earn their GEDs. Armed with the diplomas they are far better equipped to advance in the job market,” Baer said.

There is a significant amount of behind the scenes work required to serve such a large number of students. Sarah Friend, Carol Newman, and Jenna Rush assist students through the registration process, handle daily business operations, as well as provide support to the programming staff.

Julie Yoder, Dean of Continuing Education & Workforce Development, oversees all programming offered through the division. “Using our CEWD sites we are able to offer a broad range of educational opportunities throughout Garrett County. Our programming staff has listened to the people we serve and addressed their needs. It is rewarding for me, and our entire staff, to see the positive response from the people in the community,” she said.

The fall schedule for CEWD is now available and can be viewed online at www.garrettcollege.edu To learn more about GC Continuing Education & Workforce Development opportunities persons may also call 301-387-3069.