Tuesday, Jun 28, 2016
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Education

Owens job training targets boomers

Owens Community College will offer a new job training program this year aimed at Baby Boomers, thanks to a grant.

The school will offer training in health care, education, and social service jobs for students age 50 and older. The grant is from the Deerbrook Charitable Trust through the American Association of Community Colleges.

Owens is one of 10 schools chosen for the program, called the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program.

Owens was the only Ohio school to receive the grant. College officials said they hope to reach about 100 students in the initiative.

"It'll be unique [in Ohio]," said Michael Bankey, Owens associate vice president of workforce and community services.

The funding will create a one-stop gateway for students who may have stepped away from the work force and are looking to rejoin, or who are looking for a new career, specifically those geared toward community service such as education. Students may want a degree or certification in a particular industry.

The gateway, which will be housed at Owens' Arrowhead Industrial Park site in Maumee, will be a place for prospective students to learn about options for the next step in their careers, Mr. Bankey said. Though the gateway will be in Maumee, outreach will occur at all of Owens' sites.

The first year of the program will be for planning, while implementation will occur the next two years.

Some elements of the program may be a job-readiness training program for those with gaps in their work history, or initiatives to get experienced professionals work as substitute school teachers. Owens' grant was for about $15,000, Mr. Bankey said. And much of that will be for outreach and recruitment efforts.

Along with the grant funding, schools in the program will also receive marketing materials. Officials from the AACC hope to expand the program to an additional 89 schools in the next year.

"Baby Boomers are not like traditional college students. We find that colleges need to adapt how they operate to support their job training needs and educational success," said Mary Sue Vickers, director for the Plus 50 Initiative at AACC.

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