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MCCC Offers New Courses For Growing Montco Industry

Melissa S. Treacy

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 • 12:06pm

These days, office assistants do a whole lot more than fetch coffee and file paperwork. The Don Draper-style of working offices may be out, but office assistants are still very much needed in today’s work environment.

To aid in the new demands, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) has started up a new program. The college is now offering a “twist to traditional workforce development” with its new Office Assistant Certificate, which launches this fall.

According to Alana Mauger, communications director for MCCC, the new courses will help students not only obtain skills, but possibly a job.

“The program—part of the national Job Ready, Willing and Able (JRWA) Initiative—provides built-in job placement assistance and a coach to guide students through the training and certificate completion,” said Mauger in a recent release.

The program includes 11 weeks of courses. Courses will run this fall from Sept. 29 to Dec. 11. Classes are held Monday through Thursday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the College’s Central Campus, located at 340 DeKalb Pike, in Blue Bell.

Additional workshops help the students prepare for the workforce. Students must attend six workshop sessions, held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 13, Oct. 28, Nov. 11 and Dec. 4, and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, Dec. 6 and Dec. 13.

The cost for the entire course and certification is $495, which includes instruction, workshops, course textbooks and Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam fees. 

The courses and workshops will offer a variety of learning experiences to prepare its participants for the job.

“Students enrolled in the Office Assistant Certificate Program will learn critical computer literacy and other skills expected by employers in business environments,” said Mauger. “Course modules include Business Software Essentials, Microsoft Word Applications and Modern Office Management.”

In the Montgomery County area, inclusive of a robust business community such as that of Lower Providence Township, is in need of office assistants.

“Local industry is in search of qualified office assistants,” said Suzanne Holloman, dean of Workforce Development and Continuing Education at MCCC.  “This 135-hour certificate is laser-focused to train individuals who are unemployed for a middle-skills job.”

The experience does not have to end there. Students may follow-up the program with further certification in Word.

“After completing the certificate, students may pursue the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam for Microsoft Word 2013,” said Mauger. “This sought-after credential provides students with marketable skills that will further increase their chances for employment.”

Additionally, those that are certified can then apply for more MCCC courses to further his or her education. Interested participants, upon completion, are eligible to enroll for the College’s Office Administration Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree 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 [alone],” said Mauger. “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 17 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).

To learn more about the program or to apply, call 215-461-1468 or email JobTrakPA@mc3.edu.

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