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Roxbury Community College’s Workforce Development Training Programs Prepare Students for Careers in Industry

Career and Education Guide

Ted Thomas | 8/7/2013, 10:40 a.m.

A Special Advertorial Section

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has made workforce development a key part of the mission of Massachusetts state-supported colleges and universities to meet the expanding need of industry for skilled workers.

Roxbury Community College (RCC), through its Workforce Development Training Programs, is equipping students with the training and skills they need to enter the workforce and thrive. At RCC, workforce development, according to the Division of Continuing Education’s printed material, “is a direct, effective, and immediate response to the urgent demands of the current economy and expanding technology.” The primary goals of workforce development “include providing you with the academic, employability and the technical skills you need in order to increase your access to employment and economic opportunities.”

To that end, RCC’s Workforce Development Training Programs offer training in a broad range of categories, including solar energy technology, pharmacy technology and property management.

In an effort to keep pace with the ever-growing demands of the workforce, RCC’s Division of Continuing Education (DCE) continues to expand its Workforce Development Training Program offerings as well as create new partnerships and attract funding. Below are examples of new workforce development initiatives from the DCE, as reported by Morisset St. Preux, assistant dean of the Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development.

RCC currently preparing Boston Public Schools over-age students to enter the workforce

Twenty-five students from the Boston Public Schools (BPS) $50,000 Initiative for Preparing Over-age Youth for Careers were recently recruited and are currently enrolled in workforce training at RCC. This new pilot initiative, offered through the DCE’s Workforce Development Programs, proposes to offer a career pathway to over-aged BPS students who would otherwise not consider a college education or skills training as an option.

The goal in this initiative is to use the skills and experience of the college’s seasoned adjunct faculty to groom these students within the campus setting through computer, language and “soft” skills training and to give many of them an edge and the confidence necessary to ultimately enroll in a degree program at RCC. Over 3,000 prospective BPS students will be in line to enroll in the Initiative for Preparing Overage Youth for Careers over the next few years. The DCE will devote itself to making their college campus experience a non-intimidating and a successful one.

Rapid Response Grant

The Rapid Response Grant proposes to offer advanced training in solar energy technology to employees from a number of Massachusetts-based companies. Through a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Education, RCC has joined with Clean Edison in New York to work on this initiative to meet the needs of solar companies in Massachusetts.

The RCC-MassGREEN lab in Hyde Park

A lease agreement between the landlord and RCC for the development of the MassGREEN Weatherization Training Lab in Hyde Park was finally signed. As a result, work will soon begin for the development of the training center. In July 2009, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a state agency with a focus on clean energy, awarded Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) a three-year $1.87 million contract to coordinate energy-efficiency workforce training programs under the MassGREEN initiative in order to develop an energy efficiency skills initiative within the state community college system. Six of the 15 community colleges in Massachusetts were were selected as the lead institutions for their respective regions: RCC, as the lead institution in its region, along with Bunker Hill and Massbay Community Colleges as its regional partners, was responsible for developing a training lab for the greater Boston area. The other lead institutions include Berkshire, Bristol, North Shore, Greenfield and Quinsigamond Community Colleges. The goal is to use an off-campus site as an incubator for training and as a center for advanced certification in the energy conservation and renewable energy sectors.

As the Massachusetts economy continues to expand, along with the need for skilled workers to fill its workforce needs, RCC — as evidenced by its successful Workforce Development Training Programs — is answering the call.