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Piedmont Technical College Joins Project to Train Older Workers for New Jobs

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Jan
13
2014

Piedmont Technical College was recently chosen to join the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, a national effort to train 10,000 baby boomers for new jobs in health care, education and social services. The program is sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

The college will assist adults age 50 and over in completing degrees or certificates in high-demand occupations that give back to the community. With many adults age 50 and over out of work or seeking to transition to a new career, the program offers skill updates and career makeovers for baby boomers.

Piedmont Tech will prepare older adults for careers in the health sciences and nursing fields through targeted introductory coursework, career exploration events, and media outreach.

“Whether they are returning to college to further their career or attending for the first time to fulfill a longtime aspiration, we want them to know what options are available to them,” said Jerry Alewine, dean of health science.

“It is a wonderful opportunity that will help us inform and educate the baby boomers in the communities we serve that it’s never too late to prepare yourself for a life well-lived so that you have no regrets,” said Dr. Ray Brooks, president of Piedmont Tech.

Since 2008, AACC and its network of Plus 50 Initiative colleges have supported baby boomers coming to college and helped them prepare for new careers. It’s a program that works. Eighty-nine percent of students participating in AACC’s Plus 50 Initiative told an independent evaluator that college workforce training helped them acquire new job skills, and 72 percent attributed landing a job to such training.

“Baby boomers who are out of work or want to transition into new career fields need to update their skills. Community colleges are affordable and working to help baby boomers, even if they’ve never stepped on a college campus before,” said Mary Sue Vickers, director for the Plus 50 Initiative at AACC.

Vickers added that many of the plus 50 adults who participate in the program also find great meaning and purpose in their work after they get hired. “Jobs in health care, education and social services give baby boomers a way to give back to society, so plus 50 adults find these careers to be particularly rewarding,” said Vickers.

The Plus 50 Encore Completion Program is funded with a $3.2-million grant to AACC provided by Deerbrook Charitable Trust. The Plus 50 Encore Completion Program supports AACC’s work to increase the number of students who finish degrees, certificates, and other credentials.  In April 2010, AACC committed alongside other higher education organizations to promote the development and implementation of policies, practices and institutional cultures that will produce 50 percent more students with high quality degrees and certificates by 2020.

For more information, contact Denise Wiley at (864) 941-8752 or at wiley.d@ptc.edu.  

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