Monday, November 1, 2010

Continuing Education: Workforce Development

Workforce Development is one of the four departments that make up Vol State’s Continuing Education Division. English as a second language classes (ESOL) are just one of the many types of courses they offer for companies.

“We are a venue for employers to provide additional training for their workforce at a low cost,” said Bob Jankiewicz, director, business and industry institute at Vol State. “They look to us for
English as a second language. We also provide management courses, soft skills training, dealing with peers, harassment prevention and conflict resolution.”

Tyson Foods in Goodlettsville has ESOL classes for employees through the Vol State continuing education program. The classes are taken at the plant itself, which seems to be a convenient option for the students who are getting ready to work their shift at Tyson.

“I’m the only teacher they have for ESOL here,” said Audrey Cine, adjunct instructor.

Students have been in class for two weeks, and the class is 16 weeks long.

“I need to speak English,” said Magdy Salib. “I speak Arabic.” He added that he has been working at Tyson for 3 ½ years so far.

Having the ability to communicate well in English seems to be one of the main reasons students elect to take the ESOL classes.

Medhat and Amira Ishak are married and enrolled in the ESOL class together. Mr. Ishak said that they are supposed to take the citizenship test next year for the United States.

“We are from Egypt,” said Mr. Ishak. “We need to learn English.”

The Workforce Development courses also offer the Six Sigma training.

“It’s a problem solving methodology,” said Jankiewicz. “We teach six sigma at different stages. We are teaching individuals how to find solutions to a problem for which there is no known solution.”

Health and safety training is another portion of workforce development, and includes training in occupational safety and health administration (OSHA).

For information on any upcoming workforce development courses contact Bob Jankiewicz at 230-3359 or e-mail

Volunteer State Community College

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