LBW Luverne Center offers Ready to Work Program

Published 1:56 pm Thursday, September 15, 2016

Katie Powell (left) and Jacob Morgan (right) work on computer modules in the Ready to Work Program at the LBWCC Luverne Center (Photo by Beth Hyatt).

Katie Powell (left) and Jacob Morgan (right) work on computer modules in the Ready to Work Program at the LBWCC Luverne Center (Photo by Beth Hyatt).

The Lurleen B. Wallace Community College Luverne Center will once again be offering its free Ready to Work (RTW) Program this fall.

The RTW Program offers individuals the chance to learn skills such as problem solving, computer skills, manufacturing, job acquisition, team building, problem solving, workplace behavior, communication and more.

“Ready to Work is a great program for someone who is looking for a job, because we review all of the skills, such as interviewing, resume writing and applications,” said RTW instructor Dot Youngblood.

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“We try to help build their job finding skills, and then before the class is over we try to place them in a job or something they would be interested in working in.”

According to Laura Elliott, director of the Luverne Center, the program has been around as long as the college has been in Luverne. Formerly known as Focus Industry Training (FIT), the program underwent a name change about two years after it began.

“It’s been very good for our county, and it’s helped a lot of people find jobs. It’s continued to progress and do well,” Elliott said.

In the past, local businesses such as the SMART Alabama plant have sent employees to the college to participate in the program, and the classes continue to stay open to any and all businesses interested in participating.

“While they were here, they were expected to act just like they were at work at the SMART plant with the same rules,” Elliott said.

“We met with the plant and they outlined the things that were most important for them to learn in order to work at the plant.”

The program keeps up with Alabama workplace laws in regards to how companies respond and uphold subjects like diversity, workplace violence and ethics. After this, the instructors then make the individuals aware of their responsibility as an employee in the workplaces in 2016, and educate the individuals on the proper methods of handling these subjects.

“It’s something that anybody can use. Even if you are employed but you would like a different job, we’ll do that class and you’ll come out with more skills on the other hand and you’ll be more employable,” Youngblood said.

Successful graduates of the program will receive an Alabama Certified Worker (ACW) Certificate from Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT), as well as a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) allowing them to compete for jobs in today’s competitive market.

“These people can get jobs, but a lot of them have a problem keeping jobs. So, we have a lot of these modules like time management, conflict resolution, things we didn’t even think of years ago that will help them keep their job,” said RTW instructor Rick Jackson.

“We do mock interviews, and it enlightens a lot of them. They are glad now that they know, and they are more confident.”

In order to enroll in the program, interested individuals must complete a required pre-test, have a reading level above the ninth grade and be over the age of 18.

The class will be offered at the LBW Luverne Center Monday through Thursday. Morning classes will be held from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., and afternoon classes will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Anyone interested in enrolling can call (334) 335-2187, ext. 7009.

“It makes our workforce know what they need to do, like Rick said, to not only get the job but keep the job,” Youngblood said.

“Sometimes it’s harder for people who have not been through these things the first time they see workplace violence or they witness harassment. Once they understand the law and what they should do, they are willing to work through the process.”