The Center for Workforce Development at USU Eastern opened its doors in January. The center not only offers students tools for success in the workforce, but also provides services for those in the community who are not looking to attend school for a degree, but still wish to expand their education.
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 Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) will have an ongoing presence in the center. An adviser is also onsite to conduct career aptitude tests and provide comprehensive learning plans for students.
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 considering 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.
In order to draw students to the center and what it has to offer, competitions and activities have been organized to make the Center of Workforce Development better known. On Jan. 15, the Freeezzzbee Golf Tournament was hosted by the center. Ten participants played nine holes of Frisbee golf for a chance to win a set of Frisbees and a golf bag. Zach Perrin took home the win with Bill Wardle in a close second.
The center plans to host another Frisbee golf tournament in late March. Center of Workforce Development Staff Assistant Connie Dyreng reflected on how fun the tournament was and how participants are already preparing for the next round of golf. “Everyone should drive by the building and see our expert golfers practicing,” she said. “You can also see marks all over the windows from where Frisbees have hit while people practice.”
In addition to Frisbee golf, the Center of Workforce Development had a competition featuring their mascot, Harvey. The mannequin is known for popping up in different buildings on the USU Eastern campus holding brochures about the center. If a student sees Harvey, they can snap a photo with him and send it to the center. The students are then entered in a drawing for dinner for two. Bonnie Blackburn won the drawing last time it was hosted and the competition will be held again in the near future.
With so many services provided at the Center of Workforce Development, every student and member of the community could find a beneficial tool to help further their education at the center. With the workforce and education changing everyday, it is important to stay up to date with the knowledge available in each industry.
Stop by the USU Eastern Center of Workforce Development (next to the student center) today for more information on the services they can provide for anyone in the community. The center is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be contacted at (435) 613-5440.