NIC Workforce Training Center enrollment up 37 percent


North Idaho College's Workforce Training Center posted a 37 percent increase in enrollment for fiscal year 2005.

“The enrollment growth at NIC reflects our commitment to meet the diverse needs of our communities, neighbors and business and industry who serve them,” said NIC President Michael Burke. “We are their community college after all, and we want to provide this region with the best, most affordable, high-quality education we can.

“We do great work here, and these numbers reflect that,” Burke said. “Hats off to our outstanding staff at the NIC Workforce Training Center.”

Enrollment at the Post Falls-based Workforce Training Center is up from 9,305 in 2004 to a record 12,795 in 2005, surpassing the previous mark of 9,718 in 2000. 

The growth in Workforce Training Center enrollments reflects the area's growth and the center's efficiency at meeting the changing needs of both the citizens and the business community, according to NIC Assistant Vice President for Instruction and Workforce Training Center Director Robert Ketchum. 

“We are addressing obvious growth in our community and we're well positioned to meet the changing needs of this new population,” Ketchum said. “The potential for continued growth in enrollments is great, because we will continue to cater to the market demands in all areas of programming.”

NIC's Workforce Training Center offerings include:

• Workforce Development, which provides services to those needing apprenticeships, enhanced professional skills or continuing education programs for specific industry sectors, as well as community education classes for personal enrichment. 

• The Customized Training Department, which provides local and international training programs specifically designed to meet the training needs of each client.

• The Qualified Worker Retraining Program, which was designed and funded through the Workforce Investment Act, and provides services to help the unemployed or underemployed obtain employment. Despite recent changes to eliminate the regional governing board, the Qualified Worker Retraining Program will continue to be offered through the NIC Workforce Training Center.

• The Idaho Small Business Development Center, which acts as a business incubator, providing consultations and training opportunities to the region's small businesses.

Ketchum said each of the Workforce Training Center programs experienced growth, with some of the most substantial increases focused in the apprenticeship programs and real estate training programs this year.

“We're at 100 percent occupancy during peak hours at peak periods throughout the year,” Ketchum said. “It's incredible what's been achieved at this site. We are ‘maxed out' much of the time, and as is the case on the main campus, space is fast becoming a concern here in Post Falls.”

The NIC Workforce Training Center was established at the Riverbend Commerce Park in Post Falls in 1996. Some programs were already operating from NIC's main campus in Coeur d'Alene and others were initiated after the move.

In those 10 years, enrollments at the NIC Workforce Training Center have grown 276 percent, from 4,628 in 1996. 

Enrollments within the Workforce Training program are duplicated headcounts, meaning the total number of students in all classes is counted, rather than the total number of individuals taking those classes.


For More Information
NIC Assistant Vice President for Instruction and Workforce Training Director Robert Ketchum, (208) 769-3221

Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2005

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