MASON CITY, Iowa - The continuing education program at NIACC is asking employers how to tailor courses so they can better prepare students for today's careers.
The school is asking employers in their service area, which stretches from the Kossuth-Winnebago County Line to Osage and Charles City, and from the Minnesota state line to Hampton, to send their opinion through a short-term certificates survey related to such programs. Short term certificate programs include production welding, a CDL course, CNC machine operators, and a certified nursing assistant.
"We know that the dynamics have changed for work because of COVID, so we want to be as responsive as we can to make sure we are offering those things that they need - the training for employees in the area."
Dean of Continuating Education and Director of Economic Development Patti Hanson highlights what the survey is asking for, like qualifications for job readiness, training needs, even what soft skills are needed, like negotiating, critical thinking, and de-escalating intense situations.
"One of the highlights that have come out of it is that we need to incorporate more of those soft skills into our training, blending those together. They need that skill training, but they also need the conflict resolution, stress management strategies, those kinds of things, time management."
The survey came out of a task force that identified areas such as having more short term certification programs be made available. Hanson says the school is looking to add an introductory advanced manufacturing certificate, as well as paraeducator and phlebotomy certificates.
"We really want to create programs that are relevant and needed for employers in this area."
To fill out the survey, click here.