Lawrence County Workforce Coalition Launches Free Skills Training

(BEDFORD) – The Lawrence County Workforce Coalition, an arm of the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council (LCEGC), began its first cohort of the Introduction to Local Jobs and Skills program earlier this week.

The three-week training course is designed for adult students to gain exposure to and develop entry-level skills for careers in the region. Classes are being conducted at the North Lawrence Career Center in three program areas: welding, construction trades, and machining. These programs are being taught by certified NLCC instructors David McCart, Matt Olson, and Brad Gilbert, respectively. 

In addition to learning concepts and overviews of skills to obtain and/or advance in one of these career areas, students will also be exploring employability competencies such as communication, workplace etiquette and social awareness. This aspect of the program will be taught by Linda Henderson with Families Forever. “It’s important that students aren’t only equipped with the technical skills needed for these careers, but the soft skills required to be successful in the future,” says Heather Nash, Director of Programming at the LCEGC. 

Partnerships with local justice-involved entities have provided an initial pool of students seeking to “skill-up” and explore potential careers.

“This program is a culmination of discussions with employers and community stakeholders throughout the past three years,” says LCEGC Director of Career Development, Joe Timbrook. “We know there is a large population of residents in Lawrence County that, with some training, could fill the employment gaps we see with our high-demand jobs.”

At the end of the course, students will have earned a certificate of completion to show prospective employers and add to their resume, which they will have the opportunity to craft as part of course curriculum. Its hoped that students will leave the training with one or more interviews with local employers seeking candidates with these qualifications. 

Currently, the ideal student is a Lawrence County resident not yet earning a living-wage. The Workforce Coalition has ensured a seamless transition for graduates to a number of different paths such as obtaining their High School Equivalency (HSE), participating in the Next Level Jobs program or continuing on to employment.

If you are interested in participating in the program, or an employer interested in conducting interviews, please contact Heather Nash at 812- 275-4493 or heather@lawrencecountygrowth.com

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