Published on February 22, 2022
As the second anniversary of the COVID shutdown approaches, John A. Logan College officials look at lessons learned and new opportunities to train the next generation of workers. The higher education landscape has been forever changed. John A. Logan College faculty and staff have continued to meet those changes by refining current programs and looking at new programs to prepare students for a changing workforce.
Career and Technical Education is one of the areas in that College officials have seen a growing interest from the public. As waves of shutdowns hit the world economy in 2020, specific “essential jobs” were brought into the spotlight.
“Obviously, the need for nurses, EMTs and other medical careers grew as the pandemic escalated,” said JALC Associate Dean for Career and Technical Education Scott Wernsman. “But it was other careers like agriculture, automotive, HVAC, electronics, and construction that proved to be just as vital.”
Wernsman added that just because some areas of the economy were shut down, there were still day-to-day needs that needed to be met by people trained in many of the programs offered at JALC.
“More people at home meant a greater stress on their heating and cooling systems, and our grocery and supply chain was altered,” said Wernsman. “Other people discovered in their time off that they have a talent in careers they previously had not thought about as an option. Some found through home repairs a desire to learn construction management others found they could turn a hobby in welding into a career.”
The need to train new workers was recently discussed at a meeting of the John A. Logan College Board of Trustees by member Dr. Brent Clark. Traveling the state as the Executive Director of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, Dr. Clark has seen firsthand the need for Career and Technical Education Programs at community colleges.
“As we look across our economy, we see a lot of well-paying technical jobs that require more than high school, but not necessarily a 4-year degree,” said Clark. “John A. Logan College has the Perfect Structure to help these people.”
John A. Logan College currently offers a variety of career and technical programs that are designed to get people into the workforce in one or two years.
“All of our programs have a high placement rate for employment, and we do not see that changing anytime soon,” said Wernsman. “Most importantly though, we will continue to adjust our programs and add new ones as the needs of the workforce continue to change.”
February is CTE Month, and John A. Logan College is proud to showcase the College’s outstanding Career and Technical Education programs and students. To find out more about Career and Technical programs at John A. Logan College, visit www.jalc.edu.