The Unlimited Learning Center in Cortez has revamped its adult education program to focus on the industrial trades in addition to its career training in the medical fields.
To boost enrollment and awareness of the many free classes and tuition college courses, the Learning Center is hosting an open house on Friday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The open house will feature presentations by oil and gas companies, large plant operators and medical professionals. Information will be available on education and certificate programs in well-paying fields. Lunch will be provided.
“We offer specific pathways to careers that pay well so people have a better chance of getting a sustainable job in the area,” said director Anne Miller. “We’re open to anyone in the community — people who have been laid off, want to find a new job or go back to school.”
Industrial trades include large-plant maintenance and operations, industrial mechanics, hydraulics and instrumentation.
Possible jobs include working in the oil and gas industry, or for organizations with large mechanical plants, such as school districts, factories, hospitals, utility companies, casinos or production mills.
“Companies want to hire locally, but have said the labor pool does not have the skills they need. We are changing that,” Miller said.
The new industrial trades programs provide free math and science courses, and the testing needed to get accepted into the School of Energy in Farmington, where advanced job training and trade certificates are offered.
Students at the Center have access to interactive college courses broadcast from the College of Eastern Utah and San Juan College.
The Center offers medical career training as well and is the only school in Southwest Colorado that offers the 34 college credits needed for certification as a medical assistant.
“Medical assistants are in high demand right now because they can do both patient care and administrative work,” Miller said. “Our students are getting snapped up by hospitals, with starting pay $20 per hour.”
Miller said the Center recognizes there is an education gap for many adults which prevents them from succeeding in the difficult course work and testing required to become certified in medical and industrial trades.
“We first prepare them with basic math, writing and science education so they have a better chance to succeed when they enroll in the more difficult courses,” Miller said.
Basic math, English, and science courses for GED and college entrance exams are free. Pell grants are available for college courses. The Learning Center also offers free child care.
For more information, call the school at (970) 565-1601 or visit their website at http://www.fourcornerslearning.org/