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Lorain County Community College's 'Fast Track' program helps retrain job seekers for high-demand fields

Posted at 12:38 PM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 12:38:45-04

LORAIN, Ohio — Lorain County Community College is offering free certificates in high-demand fields like business, computer, information technology, manufacturing and healthcare in 16 weeks or less as a way to get job seekers back into the workforce.

Since the fall of 2020, 811 people have completed the college’s "Fast Track” programs.

“Early in the pandemic, we understood the critical need for dislocated workers to quickly retrain and gain industry-recognized credentials that will help them find meaningful employment,” says LCCC president Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D. “To meet this need we quickly scaled up our short-term certificate programs in in-demand pathways, giving students the power to change their lives in weeks, not years.”

The program has especially helped people out of work like Simone Yalanty, who found herself laid off from a job as a machine operator due to COVID-19.

She decided to use the unexpected time off to enroll in the Fast Track program where she earned a short-term certificate in Computer Information Systems-Software Development.

She graduated in December 2020 and hopes to begin working in the software development industry while continuing her education to earn her associates

“We built each Fast Track program area in a way that easily stacks with additional certificates and associate degrees,” says Michelle Pawlak, Fast Track program advisor. “This makes it easy for students to continue their education.

Like Yalanty, Gregory Stocker also found himself laid off due to COVID-19 in 2020, so he enrolled in a 16-week program for software development.

With just one credit shy of an associate degree from prior schooling, he completed his degree and graduated in May 2021 with his associate of applied business in network communications degree.

“LCCC was very helpful, compassionate, and welcoming to me at a time when I was not sure what the future would hold,” he says of the Fast Track program.

Find more info on the Fast Track program here.

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