Train For Careers In Office Assistant Or Pharmacy Tech This Summer At MCCC‏

Blue Bell, PA — Montgomery County Community College’s Center for Workforce Development (CWD) is offering several fast-track certificate programs this summer to help individuals train for careers as office assistants and pharmacy technicians. To learn more, visit mc3.edu.

Office Assistant Certificate Program

Students in MCCC’s 16-week, competency-based Office Assistant Certificate program learn critical computer literacy and other skills expected by employers in business environments. Course modules include Business Software Essentials, Microsoft Word Applications and Modern Office Management. The program also provides built-in job placement assistance and a coach to guide students through the training and certificate completion.

This summer, MCCC’s Office Assistant Certificate Program runs from June 13 to Oct. 3. Classes are primarily taught online, with mandatory, on-campus workshops on Monday, June 13, 6-9 p.m.; Tuesday, July 26, 1-4 p.m.; Tuesday, Aug. 30, 1-4 p.m.; and Monday, Oct. 3, 6-9 p.m. Optional open computer labs are available on Mondays from 6-9 p.m. and Tuesdays from 1-4 p.m. All workshops and open computer labs are held at MCCC’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

After completing the certificate program, students may pursue the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam for Microsoft Word 2013. This sought-after credential provides students with marketable skills that will further increase their chances for employment. In addition, students who complete the certificate can apply the courses to MCCC’s Office Management credit certificate program.

The cost of the Office Assistant Certificate program is $495, which includes instruction, workshops, course textbooks and the Microsoft Office Certification exam fee. Deferred payment is available to those who qualify. To learn more or to apply, call 215-619-7331 or email ghines@mc3.edu.

The Office Assistant Certificate Program is offered through the national Job Ready, Willing and Able (JRWA) Initiative, which is funded by a three-year grant from the Walmart Foundation and is led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

Pharmacy Technician Program

MCCC’s Pharmacy Technician program prepares students to work in the pharmacy field and to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s national exam, among other national and state certifications. The courses cover key topics such as pharmacy calculations; medical terminology; skills to read and interpret prescriptions; review of the top 200 drugs; skills to identify drugs by generic and brand names; dosage calculations, IV flow rates, drug compounding and dose conversions; the dispensing of prescriptions; inventory control; and billing and reimbursement.

This summer, the Pharmacy Technician Program runs from June 21 to Aug. 9. Classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-9:30 p.m. at MCCC’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. The cost is $1,995, which includes the course textbook. The program is approved by PA Career Link for students who qualify. Students should have, or be pursing, a high school diploma or GED to enroll. To learn more or to register, call 215-461-1127 or email grossett@mc3.edu.

MCCC’s Center For Workforce Development Offers Scholarships For Online Manufacturing Fundamentals Course‏

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA — As a result of technology and automation, today’s manufacturing jobs require more advanced skills for employees, as well as an overall understanding of the processes.

To assist people who are seeking first-time employment in manufacturing or who recently entered the industry, Montgomery County Community College’s Center for Workforce Development (CWD) is offering scholarships for an online, non-credit Manufacturing Fundamentals course to help them gain a basic understanding of today’s manufacturing environment.

Thanks to a generous gift from the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC), the College’s CWD can offer $100 scholarships to cover the course fee for the first 100 participants who register. The scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The six-week Manufacturing Fundamentals course covers the role of production design, process planning and 13 different manufacturing processes. The course will help participants understand and master product development concepts such as the voice of the customer, quality function deployment and failure mode and effects analysis, among others.

While participants will not need to purchase any textbooks, they will need Internet access, email, and Internet browser (Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 or above, Google Chrome or Safari) and Adobe PDF plug-in (a free download is available at Adobe.com).

For more information about the course, visit http://www.ed2go.com/mc3/online-courses/manufacturing-fundamentals?tab=syllabus. To register and receive the scholarship, contact Geraldine Rossetti at 215-461-1127 or grossett@mc3.edu.

The scholarship program for the Manufacturing Fundamentals course is one of the workforce training initiatives MCCC is able to offer to the community as a result of receiving a matching grant of $2,177,471 from MCEDC in 2015. This exceptional gift established an endowment supporting MCCC’s expertise in educating and training students for regional jobs and careers. Since it is a matching grant, donations have double the impact in funding vital workforce development initiatives.

The first distribution from matched funds is supporting four initiatives:  an Innovation and Sustainability Hub Learning Lab for Hydroponics and Aquaponics, Advanced Manufacturing training and support, Workforce Skills Modules in Information Technology and Manufacturing and a Software Developer Academy.

MCEDC’s grant started a new chapter in community college philanthropy and its matching gift challenge presents the community with the opportunity to invest in tomorrow’s workforce. To discuss funding opportunities or personal goals in making gift in support of the match, contact the Foundation at 215-641-6529.

Berks County Resident Starts Nonprofit To “Pay It Forward” By Helping The Homeless And Underemployed With Job Training In The Food Industry

Nom ProphetsWhat do you do when you have worked your way out homelessness and turned your life around? You help others achieve the same goal, of course.  And if you are Julia Zion, you start Nom Prophets.

Nom Prophets was formed in November of this year and is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.  Nom Prophets has a 6-person Board of Directors who work with Julia towards this goal.

Julia wants to give back for all the help she received along the way.  Being homeless and lacking job skills is a vicious cycle.  Unless someone takes a chance on hiring you, many doors are closed.  Without a job, you cannot afford basic necessities like food and shelter.  Without a permanent residence, it is hard to get a job.

As Julia pointed out in our interview, there are jobs in the food industry and with some training and experience those jobs can be had.

This new venture is an extension of what Julia has been doing for the last several years serving meals to the poor/homeless and helping in shelters.  Julia’s ultimate goal is to expand on those kinds of services through the use of food in the general area of food and food services.  Pottstown residents may remember the meals at Washington Street Park, for example.

The short-range goal is to buy a food truck through fundraising.  It would either be new or a retrofitted truck, depending on the results of the fundraising.  Zion hopes they can get a food truck operational by the summer.

By going out and using the food truck she hopes to fund the nonprofit.  The food truck will also enable Nom Prophets serve the poor in parks, churches and or shelters.  Food trucks are certified and inspected kitchens which guarantee food safety and permit issues (in many cases).

Nom Prophets sauce 2Nom Prophets sauce 1There are several ways Nom Prophets is trying to raise money.  They are selling homemade salsa, which you can buy at iCreate Café, 130 King Street, Pottstown and Daniel’s Produce and Dairy at 219 High Street, Pottstown.  They also hope to have gift baskets available in the near future.

Nom Prophets is scouting other locations, in the Berks County area, to sell their salsa and gift baskets.  If your business or organization would like to stock these items, you can contact Nom Prophets.  They would be glad to work with you!

Having experienced homelessness herself, Julia feels people need compassion, stability and a self-esteem boost.  Being poor, disadvantaged and/or homeless is demoralizing.  The shelter system is temporary and there is no sense of stability.  This causes anxiety and low self-esteem.

Julia found a new sense of self-worth and happiness once she was gainfully employed and had her own place to live.  She wants to help others find their way out of homelessness and poverty so they can lead full, productive and happy lives.  After all, we are talking about human beings.  Human beings deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

The common misconception is that people in these circumstances do not want to work and are lazy.  The problem is without job skills, and in many cases experience, you are unemployable.  You cannot be self-supporting on minimum wage.  Without skills you cannot get a better paying job.

Another employment barrier is the cost of obtaining a Safe Serve certification.  Having this certification helps you land a job and command more money in the food industry.  However, it can cost several hundred dollars.

For many, this may not seem like much money.  But if you have no money, it might as well be a million dollars.  Nom Prophets wants to help people get this certification along with teaching them knife skills and giving them experience in a professional kitchen so they can apply for a get a job in the food industry that pays a living wage.

The long-range goal would be to eventually have a brick and mortar location with a professional kitchen, restaurant and housing for those in the program while they train.

You can contact Nom Prophets on Facebook if you would like to buy their products, sell their products, donate or see if there is any way you can help out by clicking https://www.facebook.com/NomProphets/

MCCC Office Assistant Certificate Program Opens Doors To Full-Time Employment‏

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Sharon Wensel, of North Wales, admits she was nervous to be back in the classroom after many years. But it didn’t take long for her to become comfortable—and to even enjoy—the online modules and open computer labs that are part of Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Office Assistant Certificate program.

“I was worried about the age of the other students, and if I would fit in. I was happy to discover that many of the other students felt the same way!” she shared.

Students enrolled in MCCC’s Office Assistant Certificate program learn critical computer literacy and other skills expected by employers in business environments. Course modules include Business Software Essentials, Microsoft Word Applications and Modern Office Management.

Learning those skills enabled Wensel to find full-time employment as an administrative assistant with a local home design company after she completed MCCC’s program. Today, her responsibilities include filing, answering phones, assisting customers and data entry.

“This course was really influential in helping me to change my career direction and adding relevancy to my skill sets,” she said.

MCCC offers Office Assistant Certificate training as part of the national Job Ready, Willing and Able (JRWA) Initiative, which provides built-in job placement assistance and a coach to guide students through the training and certificate completion. The 16-week competency-based curriculum prepares in business software and office procedures.

The fall iteration of the Office Assistant Certificate program at MCCC begins Oct. 12 and runs through Jan. 28. The course is primarily taught online, with optional open computer labs on Mondays from 6-9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-noon at the Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, and on Tuesdays from 5-8 p.m. at the West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. Students are also required to attend three workshop sessions on Nov. 19, Dec. 17 and Jan. 28 from 6-9 p.m.

The cost is $495, which includes instruction, workshops and course textbooks. Deferred payment is available to those who qualify. To learn more or to apply, call 215-461-1468 or email JobTrakPA@mc3.edu.

After completing the certificate program, students may pursue the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam for Microsoft Word 2013. This sought-after credential provides students with marketable skills that will further increase their chances for employment. In addition, students who complete the certificate can apply the courses to MCCC’s Office Management credit certificate program.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, office and administrative support occupations comprise one of the largest occupation groups in the Commonwealth. The Center for Workforce Information and Analysis projects 105 annual openings in this field in Montgomery County. Additionally, there is a growing need in the Montgomery County region for general office clerks, with an expected 338 annual openings in the County and an estimated 14,620 total jobs in 2016.

Through JRWA, MCCC joins 16 other community colleges across the country in providing middle-skills training, industry recognized credentials, and access to employment across varying industry sectors for unemployed individuals. The initiative is funded by a three-year grant from the Walmart Foundation and is led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

New Program Prepares Students For High Priority Employment As Pharmacy Technicians

Blue Bell, PA —Pharmacy technician jobs are expected to grow by 20 percent through 2022—nine percent higher than the average growth rate for all occupations nationally according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.

The demand holds true in Pennsylvania as well. Pharmacy Technician is designated as a High Priority Occupation in the Commonwealth, which ranks fourth among states in the number of pharmacy technicians currently employed.

To help fill the demand in this growing field, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) is offering a 50-hour Pharmacy Technician program on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-9:30 p.m. starting on Oct. 15 and running through Dec. 8. Classes will be held at MCCC’s Central Campus 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

The cost of attending the Pharmacy Technician program is $1,995, which includes the course textbook. The program is approved by PA Career Link for students who qualify. Students should have, or be pursing, a high school diploma or GED to enroll. To learn more or to register, call 215-461-1127 or email grossett@mc3.edu.

MCCC’s Pharmacy Technician program prepares students to work in the pharmacy field and to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s national exam, among other national and state certifications. The courses cover key topics such as pharmacy calculations; medical terminology; skills to read and interpret prescriptions; review of the top 200 drugs; skills to identify drugs by generic and brand names; dosage calculations, IV flow rates, drug compounding and dose conversions; the dispensing of prescriptions; inventory control; and billing and reimbursement.

In addition to the first fall cohort, the Pharmacy Technician program will also be offered with day, evening and weekend classes this spring at both MCCC’s Central Campus in Blue Bell and its West Campus, located at 101 College Drive, in Pottstown.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reports that candidates with formal training or prior experience have the best opportunity for employment as pharmacy technicians. In 2012, the median salary for pharmacy technicians was $29,320 nationally.

To learn more, visit http://www.mc3.edu/academics and click on Areas of Study, followed by Health Sciences, then Career Training Programs.

Pa. Labor & Industry Secretary Visits Montgomery County Community College, Learns About Job Opportunities Created Through Education

PHOTO: Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino (center) is pictured with Montgomery County Community College Biotechnology students (left) during her visit to the institution’s Central Campus in Blue Bell on Aug. 17. Also pictured from MCCC are Assistant Professor of Biotechnology Dr. Margaret Bryans and Interim President Dr. James Linksz, along with Dr. Karin Abarca Heidemann (far right), director of research and development at Rockland Immunochemical, Inc., which is one of the College’s industry partners.

PHOTO: Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino (center) is pictured with Montgomery County Community College Biotechnology students (left) during her visit to the institution’s Central Campus in Blue Bell on Aug. 17. Also pictured from MCCC are Assistant Professor of Biotechnology Dr. Margaret Bryans and Interim President Dr. James Linksz, along with Dr. Karin Abarca Heidemann (far right), director of research and development at Rockland Immunochemical, Inc., which is one of the College’s industry partners.

Blue Bell/Lansdale, Pa.— Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino met with students and faculty at Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Central Campus in Blue Bell and Culinary Arts Institute (CAI) in Lansdale on Aug. 17 as part of Governor Tom Wolf’s “Jobs That Pay” tour.

At the Central Campus, Secretary Manderino toured MCCC’s Biotechnology, Dental Hygiene and Nursing laboratories to learn about how the state’s investment in those programs and students benefits workforce and economic development in the Commonwealth. At the CAI, she met with students and faculty chefs before engaging in a round table discussion with MCCC leaders.

“The associate’s degree is a valuable credential for community college graduates in Pennsylvania. In fact, most of our students in career-track programs like Dental Hygiene, Biotechnology and Culinary Arts have jobs lined up before they graduate,” explained Dr. James Linksz, interim president, MCCC. “Our graduates also provide much-needed human resources to the region. According to a recent graduate survey, 68 percent of alumni are employed in Montgomery County and 97 percent are employed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

During her visit to MCCC, Secretary Manderino had the opportunity to talk with some of the college’s industry partners who benefit from student interns and graduates. For example, while touring the Biotechnology lab, she met Dr. Karin Abarca Heidemann, director of research and development from Rockland Immunochemical, Inc. in Limerick, Pa., which employs three recent MCCC graduates and offers internship opportunities to current students.

She also met Dr. Mark Schafer, president and COO of PhotoSonix Medical, Inc., a start-up company that rents a workstation in MCCC’s Biotech lab and provides the program’s students with valuable internship experience.

“Biopharmaceuticals is the fastest growing segment of the pharmaceutical industry, and there is a growing need for trained technicians to manufacture these drugs, especially as generic versions start to be produced,” explained Dr. Margaret Bryans, assistant professor of Biotechnology at MCCC. “In addition to the four major pharmaceutical companies in Southeastern Pennsylvania, there are more than 100 small biotechnology companies in the Greater Philadelphia Region, offering exceptional career opportunities to our graduates.”

MCCC offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science degree in Biotechnology, as well as a 16-credit Certificate of Completion, designed to provide hands-on, industry-relevant training to students who already hold associate’s or bachelor’s degrees and who wish to retrain for careers in the biotech field.

Before arriving at MCCC for the day, Secretary Manderino and her team toured VideoRay, a Pottstown-based manufacturer of underwater remotely operated vehicles, which is another of the College’s key industry partners.

MCCC & GCC: Global Connections For Regional Impact

Global Corporate College (2)Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Community colleges have a proven track record in building the economic growth of the regions they serve by offering employers customized workforce development and training. But some institutions—like Montgomery County Community College (MCCC), with campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, Pa.—are thinking even bigger.

Close to 50 colleges and universities across the United States are part of the Global Corporate College (GCC), an international network that provides corporations with quality and consistent workforce training curricula for employees regardless of location, language and learning needs. Currently, GCC has global partners in 24 countries, which, according to its website, makes it the largest, multi-modal human capital development network in the world. Through a partnership with Growth Development Associates (GDA), GCC institutions also have access to extensive sales management and training curricula.

“Each GCC partner college has access to the largest body of incumbent worker training curriculum,” explains Dr. Brook Hunt, director of MCCC’s Center for Workforce Development (CWD). “As a result, this curriculum enables the colleges to build custom solutions for our customers at our competitors’ ‘off the shelf’ prices.”

Since 2012, Montgomery County Community College’s Center for Workforce Development (CWD) has partnered with both GCC and GDA to provide custom training programs and industry forums for dozens of employers in the Greater Philadelphia business community. Clients include Cobham PLC, Lansdale; Blommer Chocolate, East Greenville; Pointroll, King of Prussia; HP Hood LLC, Hatfield and Philadelphia; SKF USA, Lansdale; Stein Seal, Kulpsville; and Curtiss-Wright, EST Group, Hatfield, among others.

Those employers cite positive experiences with GCC and GDA customized training.

“Through CWD and Global Corporate College, we customized a training program for over 50 employees…based on [their] needs and the company’s training goals,” said Joanne Reagan, senior human resources manager for HP Hood, LLC. “The training program was well received. We look forward to continuing our partnership with CWD and GCC.”

“Curtiss-Wright, EST Group, partnered with CWD and Growth Development Associates to energize our sales training efforts,” says Drew Bergman, director, sales and marketing. “The program that GDA developed was specifically tailored to our business, and has resulted in increased staff focus on closing techniques and supported a current initiative to gain “add-on” product accessory sales.  The results have been outstanding.  Our staff came away charged up and excited to put the techniques to use.”

For its efforts, MCCC was recognized with three distinguished awards during GCC’s annual Institute in Indianapolis over the summer. Dr. Brook Hunt was one of two recipients of the inaugural Spirit of Global Corporate College Award, given in recognition of an individual’s exemplary commitment, spirit and contribution toward fulfilling the mission of GCC.

MCCC was also earned nine “Pig” awards for securing or expanding GCC and GDA contracts and was the only 2014 “Poodle” award recipient, which is awarded to institutions that bring in five or more new contracts.

To learn more about Montgomery County Community College’s Center for Workforce Development, visit http://www.mc3.edu, click on Areas of Study, then Business and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, followed by Center for Workforce Development.

Casino Closings Wipe $2 Billion From Atlantic City Property-Tax Values

English: Picture of the Tropicana from the Boa...

English: Picture of the Tropicana from the Boardwalk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The closure of three Atlantic City casinos by mid-September will wipe $2 billion from the city’s property-tax values next year, exacerbating the already cash-strapped city’s financial plight, Mayor Don Guardian warned Tuesday.

By 2017, Guardian said on a conference call to discuss Atlantic City’s way forward as a tourism center following the rout of its casino industry, property values are expected to have fallen to as little as $7.5 billion from $20 billion five years ago.

In the short term, Guardian said the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has made money “available for some bridge loans to make sure that the city continues functioning with this year’s budget because of any concern that we might have that a casino’s closing, going bankrupt might hold off payments.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140827_Casino_closings_wipe__2B_from_Atlantic_City_property-tax_values.html#9bAf73M2kyMlu0jB.99

Conference Generates Ideas For Tackling Poverty In Reading

, U.S. Congressman (R-Pennsylvania, 1997-present)

, U.S. Congressman (R-Pennsylvania, 1997-present) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fatherless families, a lack of jobs and school dropout rates contribute to poverty and local economic conditions, U.S. Rep. Joseph R. Pitts said Monday.

“Families with fathers and mothers are the best anti-poverty program,” said the Chester County Republican, whose district includes Reading. “Saying these simple things can land you in all kinds of trouble.”

He was speaking at a conference on economic inequality that he organized at Reading Area Community College.

In an interview afterward, Pitts listed some points raised during the four-hour event that he will pursue.

“We will come up with some projects,” Pitts said.

While some of the 75 political, business and nonprofit leaders who participated agreed with Pitts’ points, several made their own arguments for improving the economy in Reading, where the 2012 poverty rate of 40.5 percent made it the second most impoverished city in the country behind Detroit.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20131210/NEWS/312109974/1052#.UqeN0fRDsxI

Westmoreland County Community College Breaks Ground On Tech Center In Former Sony Plant

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week, Westmoreland County Community College broke ground on its new $9.4 million Advanced Technology Center in the former Sony plant near New Stanton.  The college’s workforce development program will move to the expanded classrooms and labs by fall 2014.

But county and college officials also hope the new center will be an incubator to help grow manufacturing businesses throughout the region.

“We are building on Western Pennsylvania’s manufacturing roots,” said Doug Jensen, WCCC assistant vice president for workforce education.  “The entire manufacturing sector is growing in so many ways we need a different workforce and skill sets.

“Just as Pittsburgh has been an incubator for businesses in the biotech field with its universities, we want Westmoreland County to be an incubator for the manufacturing sector; we want entrepreneurs to come here. We want to serve the entire region in these emerging sectors, including energy.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-east/wccc-breaks-ground-on-tech-center-in-former-sony-plant-695932/#ixzz2ZQYib94b