On Thursday night, about 500 people attended the Career Training Expo at Kennesaw State’s College of Continuing and Professional Education campus at the corner of Chastain Road and Interstate 75.
The open house gave residents a chance to enroll in one of the more than 50 professional certificate programs designed to spur career advancement, said Davia Lassiter, who helped organize the event.
With the unemployment rate for northwest Georgia rising to 9.3 percent in June, the long-term goal by the school is to offer courses that will help people find jobs.
“They are fast-track classes, focused on specific knowledge for the field,” Lassiter said. “You are going to get everything you need, nothing that isn’t necessary.”
New course offerings
Kennesaw State’s College of Continuing and Professional Education is adding six new programs, including Social Media Marketing and Real Estate Property Management. The first program kicks off Aug. 17 with others beginning by mid-October.
The length of each program varies. For instance, the Android App Development course meets for six-hour sessions over four Saturdays, whereas the Medical Assisting program stretches over a year.
Julian Kennedy, a Marietta resident, said he registered for the Android App Development class because it offers a specific direction in a growing field.
Kennedy earned an associate degree in computer science two years ago from Chattahoochee Technical College, but is still unemployed.
Kennedy said he hopes the additional certificate will elevate his resume by showing targeted training in an exact technology platform.
“It will give a leg up,” he said.
Kennedy also plans to develop a mobile app to sell or show a potential employer as an example of his work.
The crowd networking in the hallways on Thursday night did not look like the typical young college students hanging out in the quad.
Mary Ellen Bell, who has been an instructor in the pharmacy technician program for eight years, said she was approached by a stay-at-home mom that wants to return to the workforce.
Bell, who teaches about 40 students per class twice a year, said the pharmaceutical and medical fields have an added benefit of offering part-time hours, including overnight shifts.
The continuing education programs are designed to give real world tools to students, including tips on how to approach hiring managers, Bell said.
“We help people not only learn how to do their job but how to get their job,” Bell said.
When there is an opening at her retail pharmacy, Bell said she contacts the university.
Another booth promoted online options, including basic and intermediate computer software certifications, paralegal courses and Spanish language classes.
The career expo also highlighted growing fields such as event management and personal training.