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A vital presence

March 15, 2010
By Jodelle Greiner

MARSHALL - A move to a new location will help Minnesota West Community and Technical College's Customized Training Services better serve the people of Marshall, said Dawn Regnier, director of customized training and continuing education.

"Customized training and continuing education is the foundation for our department," she said. "It targets our responsibility to people who have a skill or need training in the workplace."

The Customized Training Services moved from the Lyon County Government Center to the Merit Center on County Road 33 in November.

"We moved here to maintain our presence in Marshall for customized training," Regnier said.

Helping with that will be Valerie Jordan, who joined the team Jan. 25.

"She has expertise in online marketing, as well as traditional clerical skills," said Regnier.

The Customized Training Services team will be embarking on some new programs, including ammonia refrigeration, and moving toward offering some classes in an online platform, including automation skills, industrial safety, firefighters training programs, computer classes, and trained medical assistant - "the first pilot program of that," Regnier said.

Even though the classes will be online, students will still have to meet in a classroom setting to do the hands-on skills, she said.

"If you're a firefighter, you can't handle a hose in front of a computer," Regnier said. "Same way with a trained medical assistant, they have to be in a hospital setting. You have to practice that skill."

The program is geared to get or keep people employed without spending years in a classroom.

"We do the training for them in a two-months' time frame to take an entry level position," Regnier said. "We focus on the specific skill. The training is specifically targeted to what they need to know for working on a job."

The six main training areas are:

computer technology

emergency response and industrial safety - OSHA compliance

dental health and human services

manufacturing and applied technology - welding, boiler engineering, industrial refrigeration

management and professional development

public safety - law enforcement, firefighters, motorcycle safety

"Anything that can be trained on, we deliver the training," Regnier said. "We have hundreds of topics."

The big ones are health care, welding, boiler engineering, industrial maintenance and computer classes, said Les Kvam, training coordinator.

"Used to be you'd have to go out of state or to the Metro area to get this training; now, we'll be able to offer it locally," he said.



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