ARCHIVED  January 1, 1998

Partnerships make industry, communities stronger

Front Range offers training to alleviate shortage

The Community and Workplace Development office at Front Range Community College˜s Larimer Campus displays a plaque from Advanced Energy Industries Inc.
The plaque says thanks.
Advanced Energy, the Colorado Business of the Year in 1996, gave FRCC the plaque in gratitude for the partnership forged between the company and the college. The partnership took the form of customized training, funded through a grant from the Colorado Existing Industries Training Project.
In October 1996, an executive from IBM Corp. came to the Larimer Campus with a request: Train people in computer network systems administration and customer service. Three months later, in January 1997, FRCC welcomed 30 students into the Windows NT Network Administration certification program at the Larimer Campus.
Today, more than 150 students enter the program each semester at four Front Range campuses. IBM and other companies reap the benefit of these trained workers. The rising tide of a trained worker pool raises all boats.
FRCC˜s partnerships with Advanced Energy and IBM are real-world examples of the theme of FRCC˜s current accreditation self-study: Strong Alone, Stronger in Partnership.
FRCC helps train workers at more than 100 companies a year. Since 1987, FRCC has trained more than 32,000 workers.
Recall the litany of labor-starved sectors that The Northern Colorado Business Report listed in August. FRCC can˜t solve all those challenges, but we can help in many areas. Computer-aided-design technicians? Find them in FRCC˜s Engineering Graphics Technology program. Administrative assistants? Find them in Business Technologies.
Customer service? Here˜s another real-world, real-time example. On Dec. 2, 1996, FRCC˜s Community and Workplace Development team met at the Fort Collins Economic Development Corp. with Jerry Tschikof, whose new venture was Center Partners. Tschikof needed trained customer-service representatives, and he needed them fast. The FRCC team processed the paperwork for a Colorado FIRST grant, conducted an assessment of training needs, developed a curriculum and delivered training to the first dozen new employees. The last training session was on New Year˜s Eve.
As for the shortage of hotel clerks and restaurant personnel, help is on the way. FRCC has been working with the restaurant and resort industries, Poudre School District, Thompson R2-J School District, and Colorado State University to develop a Hospitality Program, which opens at the Larimer Campus in the fall.
I˜m excited about this partnership. Students enroll in FRCC˜s secondary program as high-school seniors. They earn high-school credit and gain valuable, hands-on experience. Once graduated, they can join the work force or enroll in FRCC˜s associate˜s degree program, or both. Once graduated from FRCC, they can join the work force or enroll at CSU for a bachelor˜s degree in restaurant and resort management.
At each step along the way, school and career are linked. The education is seamless. The experience is cumulative. The result is trained workers for an important and labor-short sector of the Larimer County economy.
A common complaint of managers is that today˜s workers do not have the "soft skills" so necessary for a successful and productive work force.
Today˜s workers don˜t know how to work in teams. They can˜t solve problems.
If answers lie in education, observe Industrial Design and Technology students. This is a high-school program at the Larimer Campus. IDT integrates computer-aided drafting, machining and welding. Students form self-directed "companies," brainstorm a product that industry needs, consult advisers from area industries, design the product, acquire the raw materials for it, manufacture it for industry, and then present it to an audience of industry representatives. Teamwork and problem-solving are critical to the students˜ success.
From the technical programs on campus to Community and Workplace Development, from Computer Express to the Small Business Development Center, from the Windows NT Network Administration program to continuing education, the partnerships we have forged with businesses, industries and individual students have made FRCC stronger, and, I believe, they have made the communities we serve stronger.
It is certainly true that we are Strong Alone, Stronger in Partnership.
FRCC stands ready to work in partnership with Northern Colorado.Dr. Tom Gonzales is president of Front Range Community College. Contact him at (970) 226-2500, ext. 5422, or via e-mail at [email protected]. Visit FRCC˜s Web site at http://frcc.cc.co.us.

Front Range offers training to alleviate shortage

The Community and Workplace Development office at Front Range Community College˜s Larimer Campus displays a plaque from Advanced Energy Industries Inc.
The plaque says thanks.
Advanced Energy, the Colorado Business of the Year in 1996, gave FRCC the plaque in gratitude for the partnership forged between the company and the college. The partnership took the form of customized training, funded through a grant from the Colorado Existing Industries Training Project.
In October 1996, an executive from IBM Corp. came to the Larimer Campus with a request: Train people in computer network systems administration and…

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