On Wednesday afternoon, USU Eastern officially opened their newest tool for students and the community. The Center for Workforce Development is now up and running after the ribbon cutting ceremony attended by dignitaries, community and students.
Associate Vice Chancellor Russell Goodrich explained that the functions of the facility focus on two areas of assistance. For the community, it is about forming partnerships with businesses and industry in the area. They can help with entrepreneurial experiences, economic gardening and innovative ways for businesses growth. They also provide custom fit training to a company, interns and job candidates that are trained in the specifics of what a business may be looking for.
Students can gain job readiness skills and find help to prepare for college study before they even crack the books. Each student that seeks assistance will sign up with Division of Workforce Services (DWS) and can apply for internship positions. The goal is to allow a student to be an excellent candidate for a company that is seeking to hire. DWS, Vocational Rehabilitation and the Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) will have an ongoing presence in the center.
Ryan Murray is the new director of the Small Business Development Center and is eager to work with start up or existing businesses in the area. Whether it be a business plan or a financial strategy for moving forward, he is available to see if he can help find a way to meet business goals.
Non-traditional students and those seeking non-credit education are the focus for Ethan Migliori. He is the director of non-credit education at the center. The college has a mandate to help those individuals who are looking at going back to college to have a good experience. Many individuals find their employers require certifications to maintain or obtain employment. Most of these are six month or year long training programs that are not necessarily college credit based. Migliori says that the center will help make this a successful process and work with the individual to see the “big picture.” That means that once the minimum certification is obtained, it may be beneficial to further their education in the field which may lead to better employment opportunities or career advancement.
It is the fear of coming back to school after a number of years that keeps many from taking that step. Migliori said the center is there to walk each person through the doors with all the support they may need to make it a great experience.
USU Eastern Chancellor Joe Peterson summed up the open house by saying that the center is a second on-ramp to education, one that many may find a lot more user friendly than the traditional route.