(left to right) Dr. Annette Johnson-Williams, San Jacinto College payroll instructor, and students Kelly Lavallais and Veronica Wren. Johnson-Williams teaches a variety of CPD courses that attract many unemployed students who are taking advantage of tuition assistance through the Adult Basic Education grant. Photo credit: Jeannie Peng-Armao, San Jacinto College marketing department.
Financial assistance available to unemployed for high demand industry training
Jeannie Peng-Armao -- August 1, 2012
PASADENA, Texas — Approximately 500 unemployed and underemployed students have taken advantage of grant-funded courses in the past year at San Jacinto College to earn certificates vital to businesses that need employees with specific skill sets.
When Michael Dawson was laid off last year from the Aldine American Federation of Teachers, he decided to pursue an alternative career path in payroll and accounting. The former math teacher from Spring was browsing through jobs and training programs at his local unemployment office when he found tuition assistance offered through the Adult Basic Education (ABE) grant for noncredit courses available at San Jacinto College.
"What I'm learning here are skills that I can take to employers to offer them in-house payroll options, to help save them money without having to outsource this type of work," said Dawson, who already holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Houston in Victoria. After completing a payroll course at San Jacinto College, Dawson will take the Fundamental Payroll Certification exam through the American Payroll Association to become a certified payroll specialist. "In this one course, we learn so much more in addition to payroll. We're also taught how to prepare our résumé and cover letter for job positions and how to gain experience quickly to get us ahead in the job market."
The College's Continuing and Professional Development (CPD) division offers grant funding for people in need of certificates in industries experiencing a high demand for qualified employees in business, computer information technology, applied technology and trades, and health care. Careers in accounting, nursing, and computer information technology are just a few listed by the Texas Workforce Commission as hot job areas in the Houston region.
"Thanks to tuition assistance provided through the ABE grant, unemployed and underemployed students may receive help with tuition, text books, equipment, supplies, and associated certification exam fees," said Dr. Verne Avery, veterans workforce grant manager with CPD.
Dawson's instructor, Dr. Annette Johnson-Williams, teaches a variety of the noncredit business courses that attract many unemployed students who are taking advantage of tuition assistance through the grant. She said on average about five students per class receive job offers immediately upon successful completion of industry certifications.
"There are jobs out there in these areas,” said Johnson-Williams. "So often, people are misguided in their careers and are not industry ready. We try to show them how to navigate the job market and how to move into the workforce or gain more education."
For more information about the ABE grant and courses offered for workforce development, call 281-476-1838 or visit cpd.sanjac.edu.
About the Continuing and Professional Development division
This noncredit division of the College provides training for both current and future employees in the professional and technical job sectors, as well as provides participants with open enrollment course options to enhance their lives. Professional and technical training is available through contract training, open enrollment and grant funding. For more information, call 281-476-1838.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.