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LBWCC trains tomorrow’s workforce



It is a growing concern throughout the country that there are not enough skilled workers to replace retirees and fill the workforce needs of a growing number of occupations.

Occupations such as welding, industrial electronics, and nursing, among many others, are growing in need for a trained workforce, with graduates obtaining employment in high-demand, high-wage fields.

According to research conducted by Georgetown University, growth in healthcare employment is remarkably resilient. As the population ages and as advances in pharmaceuticals, medical technology, and healthcare practices make it possible to treat more diseases, demand for skilled workers in these areas will continue to grow.

Lurleen B. Wallace Community College (LBWCC) offers career technical training in several healthcare programs, including nursing, diagnostic medical sonography, surgical technology, emergency medical services training, and medical office administration.

The economy continues to shift toward industries that are growing and requiring more education of their workers. This, combined with the retirement of highly educated Baby Boomers, is a leading cause behind the ever-increasing demand for higher education in the labor market.

The economy, which is always in flux, is demanding more training and higher education across most industries. Some of the increased demand in higher education is due to technological changes or shifts in an industry’s technology that favors more skilled workers.

Several of LBWCC’s programs are producing a high number of qualified, skilled workers, while the market’s demand continues to climb. Even though community colleges across the country are training for high-demand, high-wage jobs, it is already difficult to find enough workers with the needed skills.

Moving goods across the country and transportation to and from work require diesel trucks and automobiles to remain in good running condition. LBWCC’s automotive mechanics program includes high-tech diagnostics training in addition to engine repair, while the diesel and heavy equipment mechanics program trains mechanics to keep diesel engines in good running condition. This program is also now teaching gas engine repair to prepare mechanics for the changing needs of companies turning more and more to trucks with natural gas engines.

The service professions are also increasing in educational demand. LBWCC’s cosmetology, esthetics, and nail technology programs provide students the opportunity to learn business skills in addition to the program-specific training. This allows a better understanding of how to successfully operate a business of their own.

Additional career technical training offered at LBWCC include forest technology, providing trained workers for federal and state park services as well as numerous timber-related industries; computer science, with training on the latest programming languages and computer-related hardware and software; and child development, where students learn age-appropriate educational play techniques that can be applied in day care and preschool settings.

LBWCC’s technical programs include state-of-the-art training with hands-on, real-world experience. Nursing, diagnostic medical sonography, and surgical technology students participate in practical training onsite at hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. The emergency medical services program prepares first-responders to treat injuries and sustain lives until arrival at hospitals and trauma units.

Technical training at LBWCC takes place every semester throughout the year. They offer a number of certificate and short certificate programs designed to prepare students for immediate job entry in selected professional, technical, and occupational skills areas. Other programs lead to Associate in Applied Science two-year degrees.

High school seniors preparing to graduate are encouraged to consider getting a head-start on their training and other high school students can take dual enrollment classes this summer.  Career technical training scholarships are available for dual enrollment students, and Pell Grant funds are now extended year-round, including summer.

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