Chamber, SSCC hosts Lunch and Learn

Published 1:29 pm Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Officials with Shelton State Community College hosted a Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce Lunch and Learn program Thursday. The group discussed the possibilities of job training and educational opportunities at the Demopolis Higher Education Center. Pictured are local businessmen Dan England, left, and Jason Windham, right, speaking with those from Shelton State, from left, Margie Falls, Rachel Waldrop and Nicole DuBose.

Officials with Shelton State Community College hosted a Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce Lunch and Learn program Thursday. The group discussed the possibilities of job training and educational opportunities at the Demopolis Higher Education Center. Pictured are local businessmen Dan England, left, and Jason Windham, right, speaking with those from Shelton State, from left, Margie Falls, Rachel Waldrop and Nicole DuBose.

Officials with Shelton State Community College on Thursday hosted a special Lunch and Learn program coordinated by the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce.
The event was held at the Demopolis Higher Education Center where Shelton State is currently offering classes. The speakers of the event told those in attendance that their goal is to offer classes in Demopolis that will fulfill specific needs, whether it is for job training or for individuals.
Nicole DuBose, of workforce development with SSCC, said the college is in the position to assist businesses with specific training opportunities. Currently, the top training programs for SSCC is in the fields of welding and truck driving. There is already an eight-week CDL program at the Demopolis site.
“We want to know what training may be needed in this area. We want to bring to Demopolis what Demopolis businesses need,” DuBose said.
Dan England, the owner of a local construction company, said he felt there is a need for training in that field. DuBose said construction companies in Tuscaloosa had the same need and that SSCC is now offering programs for beginning construction training.
“It began as a direct request from the construction companies and they were very involved with the development of the curriculum. When the businesses become involved in makes the programs very successful, she said.
Margie Falls, SSCC Community Education Coordinator, said if there is enough interest for a specific class or training program, that SSCC would find an instructor to host the class at the Higher Education facility in Demopolis.
SSCC Community Education Specialist Rachel Waldrop said the truck-driving program in Demopolis has already started with four students and one instructor with hopes the program will continue to grow, considering the need for truck drivers across the region.
She said the CDL class slated for March currently has three students signed up with room for only one more.
Waldrop also discussed other educational opportunities such as art classes and digital photography that are already in place. She said if there is a class those in the area would like to have in Demopolis, they could work to implement it.
“We are very flexible,” Waldrop said. “If there is interest in a class we can work to get it started. Right now, we have day classes, but if a night class is what people would rather have we will work toward that.”
The group also discussed the possibility of bringing college-credited classes to the Demopolis campus, but the timing of that will depend greatly on when fiber optic cables can be established at the campus to improve Internet speeds.
“We have to have five optics for most of our educational courses. Once that happens we will see a huge increase in class offerings,” DuBose said.
The fiber optics line will need to be brought from Hwy. 43 to the campus, which comes at a large cost, according to DuBose.