CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (February 8, 2017)-Kirkwood Community College has allocated special funding to expand free training options in Iowa City, supplementing their partnership with IowaWORKS. Workforce funds enable the college to offer free skills courses and design training pathways for in-demand jobs.
“Despite Iowa’s low unemployment rate, layoffs are happening throughout eastern Iowa,” said Kirkwood Skills to Employment Director Carla Andorf. “However many companies still need workers. Our free classes prepare dislocated workers, or anyone needing a job for that matter, to fill these positions.”
Kirkwood identifies the skills needed by area employers to provide training. Workforce partnerships transition workers to training, creating talent pipelines. In Iowa City recently, courses to improve basic computer skills, like typing, using the Internet, email, Microsoft® Word and Excel have been expanded. English-as-a-second-language courses and instruction on social media and conducting job searches have been added as well. At the Kirkwood Continuing Education and Training Center in Cedar Rapids, ten-hour jobsite safety training (OSHA) and construction training information sessions are offered.
“In just a matter of weeks students have transformed their lives by taking advantage of our free training opportunities,” said Kirkwood’s Vice President of Training & Outreach Services Kim Becicka. “We do what we can to strip away barriers impeding career success.”
In March, certification training for nurse aides, welders and office professionals begins through Kirkwood Pathways for Academic Career Education and Employment (KPACE). This is a free training program the college offers in an effort to fill in-demand, middle-skill positions. It is an opportunity for those in need of a job, or better a one, to earn a wage that is high enough to at least maintain a normal standard of living.
Last year, Kirkwood awarded 522 training certificates and more than 300 enrolled in pathway training. Subsequently, IowaWORKS helped more than 700 dislocated workers find jobs since June.
For more information about learning skills to employment, visit www.kirkwood.edu/iowaworks.