The first Positive Training Recruitment event, recently conducted at the Career Center in Marietta, featured instructors, admissions officers and financial aid personnel offering information about short-term training classes for a variety of jobs in the transportation field.
The classes, which will be taught at Chattahoochee Tech during the fall semester, include automotive collision repair, automotive technology, diesel equipment technology, commercial truck driving and motorcycle service technology. Future programs include recruitment for training classes in business, public service, computer design and engineering, technical/construction and health care.
“We constantly receive comments from our program advisory committees telling us they cannot find the type of trained, skilled employees they are looking for,” said Linda Hazelip, division chair of academic affairs for Chattahoochee Technical College at the Marietta campus. “And we know there are large numbers of unemployed workers who have not been able to find good paying positions with benefits because they do not have the skills.”
After seeing a presentation made by a Chattahoochee Tech administrator, Gloria Kusmik, manager of the GDOL Center in Marietta, approached the school about participating in the Center’s Employment Workshop, which it conducts for recently unemployed workers.
Kusmik envisioned a program where the two organizations could work together to recruit unemployed workers for training classes. Working closely with Hazelip, they developed the Positive Recruiting program.
“The training classes will be in high-demand occupations, so we expect that the trainees will land good jobs post-graduation,” Kusmik said. “A lot of people not only lost jobs; they lost hope. A lot of people out there are thinking about changing careers, making that choice. A program like this gives them an opportunity.”
The training classes vary in length from an eight-week Technical Certificate of Credit in Commercial Truck Driving to semester certificates in Automotive Technology, Auto Collision and Diesel Technology. Chattahoochee Tech offers diploma-level programs in several of the transportation programs, which usually take a year to a year-and-a-half to complete.
“The transportation cluster is a very large cluster for us, with jobs available for those with the training and skills,” Hazelip said. “The pay is excellent in this area, and our graduates find jobs quickly in this cluster. We work with dealerships, independent garages, parts stores, large commercial freight and hauling companies, to name a few.”
Upon completion of the training classes, students will be qualified for entry-level positions in the respective industry. Placement services will be available to the graduates. Entry-level salaries for the transportation jobs range from $12 to $20 an hour.
“In a time when the economy is so tough, this is a real investment for people to make in a training program like this,” Kusmik said. “But the end result is worth it. We’re definitely looking forward to bringing more of these opportunities to people who need them.”
For information on upcoming programs, contact the GDOL’s Cobb-Cherokee Career Center at (770) 528-6100.
Michael J. Pallerino has reported on business news for magazines and newspapers in the Atlanta area for more than 20 years.