Getting technical on the job

A traditional four-university isn't for everyone.

That's why some colleges are now offering technical training to their students to get them on the fast track to a new career and graduation.

The workforce training program at John Wood Community College is booming and it's motto is, "Get the skills employers want with the salaries some four-year college grads wish they had."

"To think you could get into a training program and spend four weeks to no more than possibly two years and come out earning say $30,000 right off the top or $40,000 or $50,000 off the top in a year and the demand is such that those people are being snapped up quickly, it makes sense," Terry Jenkins, associate dean of the John Wood Community College Workforce Development Center said.

After this program you can go out and get one of these jobs that people are trying to get us in and make your money back in two or three weeks tops," said Daniel Fellows, a student in the welding and industrial fabrication course at John Wood Community College.

Daniel Fellows is nearly finished with his four week welding program which will allow him to work in an entry level position and earn 6 credit hours towards his one year welding degree.

"College doesn't have to be four year liberal arts," Jenkins said. "College can be career and technical college. We often think of career in technical as the old term vocational but it is not that," he said. "industry needs skilled people and college is needed, we train obviously hands on but we also give them the other elements of a traditional education."

Those traditional elements mixed with hands-on training leaves room for growth for students on the jobsite and in the classroom.

"Several manufacturers offer more in the way of training if their in the door," Jenkins said. "Several students have expressed their desire to come back and get their one year certificate through the college so yeah the opportunity is wide open."

An opportunity that Fellows' recommends.

"I didn't want to go to school for another four years, I wanted a trade," Fellows said. "I don't want to go and sit in class, I'm more hands-on so for people like that I recommend getting a trade you can't beat it."