New JWCC program designed to allow students to connect faster with careers

Posted: Jul. 25, 2014 8:58 am Updated: Aug. 8, 2014 10:15 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

John Wood Community College President Mike Elbe feels the school's newly created Career Services Center is a perfect concept to assist students gain employment in high-demand fields.

Elbe looks at the center as a "one-stop shop" for career placement needs.

JWCC recently centralized resources and staff involved in career placement activities in the Career Services Center, in the Paul Heath Community Education building.

"Students need help finding how their interests and skills relate to certain careers, and have hands-on experiences in those fields to fully understand what is needed to be successful," Elbe said. "This new center allows all students the opportunity to access all the tools they need."

The college received federal grant funding through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act to put this project together.

"Now more than ever, students need to directly connect their academic goals with a career path, and start that process as soon as possible," Elbe said.

Elbe said that many of the services offered at the new center are also available to all community members, not just those enrolled in JWCC courses.

"We want to be a resource for any community member who is searching for a new career or needs to brush up on interview skills, write a new resume or make connections with employers," he said.

The new center will be operated by four staff members whose positions are funded largely by grant initiatives. Staff members include coordinator Cathy Codd-Bower, coordinator of career assessment Dick Tabb, student navigator Diane Vose and employment readiness coordinator Kathleen Rogers.

Codd-Bower supports the retention and certificate/degree completion of at-risk career and technical students and assists with career exploration and job placement for all JWCC students. She helps eligible students access child care, transportation, tutoring, books and other resources that support students' success and focus in the classroom.

Tabb assists high school students, guidance counselors and adult students with career exploration activities. During one-on-one sessions, Tabb helps students match their skills and interests with available academic programs, scholarship resources and careers.

Vose helps students entering career and technical programs navigate the process of admission, financial aid, course selection, coursework and degree or certificate completion. She serves as a personal concierge and advocate for students in JWCC's career and technical programs.

Rogers coordinates internship, job search and placement activities for students in career and technical programs. She will assist with the placement of JWCC students as interns with regional employers and serve as a liaison to match graduates with in-demand careers in JWCC's district.