Archive for Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Education focus: Dwayne Peaslee Technical Training Center prepares for fall push

July 22, 2015

The Dwayne Peaslee Technical Training Center is preparing for a fall push of students enrolling in classes before its inaugural school year.

In August the center will open, offering classes from Neosho County Community College, Johnson County Community College and Flint Hills Technical College, said Executive Director Marvin Hunt.

The center, located at 2920 Haskell Ave., aims to educate people already employed in Lawrence's workforce as well as those looking looking to snag their first career or make a career change.

Among the classes offered upon the center's opening are construction technology and advanced manufacturing courses, Hunt said, but the facility hopes to quickly add HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) training areas and an auto shop.

"We're focused on career development, and we hope that we can find students who want to either create a career path or develop the one they've already got," Hunt said.

Currently the center has more than 70 adult students and around 120 high school students enrolled in classes, Hunt said. But the center is expecting a last-minute push of students as August approaches, which is typical of any school, he said.

Construction and welding classes are filling up quickly, Hunt said. Many incoming students recognize that both skill sets can lead to high-quality jobs in many different areas, he said.

The center is also hoping to increase enrollment in its manufacturing courses, Hunt said.

Each course has a minimum number of students needed to be considered economically viable, Hunt said.

"You need about seven or eight students to make a class go," Hunt said. "And like all higher education or post-secondary training, some classes will make (the cut) and some won't."

Loralee Stevens said she's taught a class called Career and Life Planning for Johnson County Community College and this year will be her first teaching out of the Peaslee Center.

"I'm very excited about the change of venue," she said. "And the opportunity to participate in JCCC's expanded curriculum and take advantage of classes from other community colleges is going to be great for Lawrence."

A departure from construction and welding classes, Stevens said her course teaches students how to assess their skill sets and use them to enter the workforce.

"We take interests inventory, strengths inventory and a work value assessment, then we focus on researching jobs, careers and companies," she said. "And the last part of the course is focused on how to get a job, how to keep a job and how to be an outstanding employee."

Another benefit of the Peaslee Center is that the facility schedules its classes to accommodate for virtually every type of student, Stevens said.

"It serves students from all different backgrounds, different employers, students mid-career who want to change jobs and students just starting out who want to pick a major," she said. "It's all over the map."

Classes at the Peaslee Center will be open for enrollment until the day they begin, Hunt said. The center's first class will start on Aug. 12.

More information and enrollment opportunities can be found online at peasleetech.org or by calling 865-4426.

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