PROFILE: CCE offers classes for everyone
When local businesses, skilled trade workers, and service providers need to update their training, they call Lorrie Key in SFCC’s Corporate and Continuing Education department. Though SFCC has always provided corporate and continuing education classes, it was just five years ago that the CCE department was formed.
“Classes were originally offered through each discipline,” Key said. “As demand grew, SFCC saw the need to funnel all CCE classes through one department.” Key now works with each department chair when the need for a specific class in their discipline arises.
The CCE department offers three different types of classes. Continuing Education classes are used to renew licensing and upgrade skills. These classes are most commonly used by nurses, EMS, firefighters, accountants, and those professions that require license renewal and regular upgrading of skills.
Customized Training classes are tailored to a business’s specific needs such as customer service training and workplace safety. Key has designed customized training classes for clients including the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office, Wal-Mart, and Progress Energy. Finally, with Contract Training classes, SFCC leases its facilities to outside companies, and also handles registration, enrollment, and record-keeping for the classes. However, the company itself determines the curriculum and provides its own instructors for the class.
Another option CCE provides for continuing education is Element K. Element K provides Internet courses that participants can take 24 hours a day. It offers many different types of courses including foreign languages, Web design, business management, and workplace safety and can be found on the SFCC Web site.
One of the most important aspects of Key’s job is marketing the CCE department. Currently, Key markets her programs through e-mail. “We have a data list of over 800 people that we e-mail about our programs,” Key said. She also makes cold calls and goes out to visit businesses to talk about what type of classes they may need. Many businesses will also contact Key when they need to schedule a class.
While Key provides educational opportunities for those people who take continuing education classes, she also finds that working in the CCE department is educational for her too. “If somebody wants a specific type of class that I’m not familiar with, I have to go research and learn about the subject so I can provide appropriate teachers for the class,” Key said. “I am constantly learning.”
It is because of Key’s efforts that SFCC’s CCE department has been featured in magazines including Business Images: Florida’s Heartland, as well as a national magazine for the department of transportation.
Key’s future plans for the CCE department are to offer workforce Spanish for bank employees and medical personnel and classes that focus on social networking. She is also looking into new marketing techniques for the CCE Department including social networking sites and Constant Contact, which is an advanced e-mail marketing program through the Small Business Development Center.
“The CCE Department is an important part of SFCC,” Key said. “Not only is it important for our community businesses, it is also provides additional opportunities for graduates from SFCC’s programs to continue their educational training as well.”