May 13, 2021 Melissa Lamar

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Connecticut community colleges in the North-West region provide short-term workforce training that prepares students for increased employment opportunities in growing fields, while meeting employers’ needs to fill positions in areas that are currently in high demand.

“I strongly encourage those who have been affected by the pandemic to enroll at a community college to gain the skills they need to quickly transition to a new career,” said Dr. James Lombella, North-West regional president of the Connecticut Community Colleges, noting that employers often offer tuition reimbursement for employees to continue their education and climb the ladder of advancement within their organizations. “Our Workforce Development departments work closely with state and community partners to develop the right training programs to meet industry demand.”

Some of these job training programs in health care at Asnuntuck, Naugatuck Valley, Northwestern Connecticut and Tunxis Community Colleges include Certified Nurse Aide, Certified Sterile Processing Technician, Dental Assistant, Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) Technician, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Hospital Patient Care Technician, Inpatient Coder, Massage Therapy, Medical Administrative Assistant, Medical Billing & Coding, Medical Interpreter, Ophthalmic Assistant, Patient Care Technician, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy Technician, Registered Medical Assistant and Sterilization Technician. Many of these have more course sections and accelerated programs that can be completed in less time.

Tunxis has already been successful during the pandemic in training hundreds of displaced workers for new careers and rapid employment as certified nurse aides, sterile processing technicians, registered medical assistants, pharmacy technicians and EMTs as part of a larger statewide initiative.

I’m currently working as a medical scribe in the ER and helping with various COVID vaccine clinics throughout the state,” said Gabriella Ballesteros, of Torrington, who finished the online registered medical assistant program at Tunxis after learning of the many employment opportunities in health care. “I believe the training that I received from this program will position me for long-term success in the health care industry. I’ve learned so much from my educators, which I am forever thankful for.”

The colleges also offer programs in the growing fields of IT and manufacturing, which have many job openings.

Registration for workforce programs in health care is ongoing, with many starting in May and June. For more information on programs at Tunxis Community College, call 860.773.1448 or email [email protected]. For information on manufacturing and IT programs, call 860.773.1490 or [email protected].

Approximately 11,000 credit and continuing education students are registered this spring in the CT North-West regional community colleges, which include Asnuntuck (Enfield), Naugatuck Valley (Danbury and Waterbury), Northwestern CT Community Colleges (Winsted) and Tunxis (Farmington) Community Colleges.