The Center for Economic and Workforce Development contributes to economic development of the area by enhancing the regional workforce through training, continuing education, and consulting for individuals and employers. Relying upon partnerships and a flexible learning methodology that allows for customized solutions, the Center addresses workforce development needs of the emerging, existing, entrepreneurial and developmental workforces through specific programs in Continuing Education, technical education partnerships, the Small Business Development Center, and customized training. In addition, the Center is responsible for the College’s Flexible Degree programs. Major partnerships include those with EDGE (Earn a Degree, Graduate Early) and the Northern Panhandle District Consortium with regional county school systems.
Workplace Skill Credential Programs
Workplace skill credential programs are short-term programs designed to give individuals skills needed for success in the workplace in specific employment areas. These programs include only the specific skills needed for employment and thus require less time for completion than a traditional degree or certificate program. However, most of these programs are designed so that they can be used as part of the requirements for a degree program, thus creating a career degree pathway for interested individuals.
Because these programs are designed to meet the changing needs of the local workforce, the programs which are available will vary. Programs which are available at the time of publication include:
- Interpreter Training for the Deaf.
- AAPC Medical Coding Credentialing.
- Computer/Office Applications in Word Processing, Spread Sheets, Data Bases, and Presentations.
- Paramedic Certification.
- Real Estate.
- Casino Table Game Dealers.
Interested persons are encouraged to contact the Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development about availability of programs and the sequence of courses required in each program.
Flexible Degree Programs
Northern offers three flexible degree programs that are designed to credential training and education that individuals obtain outside a normal degree program or from non-collegiate providers.These programs are customized so that they include skills specifically required by employers. Descriptions of the Occupational Development, and Technical Studies programs are detailed below.
Learn and Earn
Through the Learn and Earn program, Northern partners with area companies and businesses to employ traditional college students as paid interns which helps meet their company’s workforce needs. In return, those students will earn college credit in their degree program and valuable on the job work experience. Contact the Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development at 304-214-8967 for additional information.
Joint Technical Programs
Technical Education and Training Partnership Programs
To better serve the technical education needs of the region, West Virginia Northern Community College and the six county school systems of the Northern Panhandle have joined together to form the Northern Panhandle District Consortium. Through this partnership, WVNCC and the secondary school system have been able to align programs and courses to allow high school students the opportunity to earn college credit through their high school courses, as well as align them on a career pathway with Northern. These programs combine technical courses available through the school systems with support courses and advanced courses at the College.
New programs are being added to the agreement so interested persons should check with the College for the most current list. Interested high school students should check with their high school counselors regarding enrollment information. Many of the programs permit post-secondary students to enroll, so adult students should check with College counselors about program availability and admissions procedures.
Economic and Workforce Development Services
As an educational and training resource center, West Virginia Northern Community College has made a commitment to programs and services that respond to the economic and business development needs of the Northern Panhandle. Economic and workforce development services include a broad spectrum of continuing education services, cultural programs and custom-designed instructional services coordinated at each campus. The Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development works with the Campus Managers to address the needs of each campus region. For information about these programs or to request other services, contact the Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development.
Customized Contracted Instruction - The College will customize credit and non-credit courses, short-term workshops, and seminars according to the needs of employers and employees. The instruction can cover a broad array of topics provided on-site or at Northern. Instructors are members of the full-time faculty or field professionals. Employers realize significant savings since costs are directly related to instruction. Instruction can be designed to permit application between sessions and follow-up consultation. For information, contact the Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development.
Testing Center - In order to enhance its ability to provide online training to individuals and businesses, Northern has a Testing Center at the College. Through the Center, individuals can access over 2,500 course modules in Adult Literacy/Employability Skills, Computers and Information Technology, English as a Second Language (ESL), Industrial Technology and Safety Skills, Management, Leadership and Small Business Operation, and Professional and Personal Development. For employers, Northern can enhance the value of the computer-based instruction by offering a variety of supporting activities. The Testing Center makes training available any time, any place, at any pace. For information about the Testing Center, please contact the Program Director for Continuing Education or the Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development.
Online Continuing Education Courses - Northern offers online continuing education courses through partnerships with ed2go, ACT, and other providers. Students may take the courses at times that are convenient for their personal schedule from any location. Each ed2go course comes equipped with a patient and caring instructor, lively discussions with fellow students, and plenty of practical information that can be put to immediate use. The college offers hundreds of courses covering every topic from anatomy to web design. For more information, please contact the Program Director for Continuing Education or go to Workforce 316 - Center for Economic and Workforce Development WVNCC 2018-2019 Catalog Development web page by clicking on the Business/Industry Development button on the College’s web page.
Small Business Development Center (SBDC) - The SBDC provides consultation, training, and problem-solving services to existing, potential and start-up small businesses within the College’s six-county service area. Services provided by the Center include assistance with business plans, loan applications, and networking with local and state agencies as well as businesses to access available resources. The SBDC office is located on the Wheeling Campus, but the Program Manager regularly meets with clients in Weirton, New Martinsville and in other communities throughout the district.
Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA) - Federally funded job training programs are now administered by the Northern Panhandle Workforce Development Board (NPWDB). West Virginia Northern is an approved WIOA provider and can assist participants with career counseling as well as short-term training and degree programs. Additionally, there is a West Virginia Higher Education Adult Part-time Student grant program which pays for some workforce development programs. Contact the Center for Economic and Workforce Development or the Financial Aid Office for more information.
Continuing Education/Life-Long Learning
Courses in continuing education for professional growth and personal enrichment are offered through the College. These courses are designed for the non-degree-seeking student and provide lifelong learning opportunities for area residents. The specialized courses of continuing education are generally of short duration and are designed to meet the specific needs and interests of area residents for job skills enhancement, certification requirements, cultural enrichment, recreation and personal empowerment.
Some courses are noncredit while others offer regular academic credit or continuing education units (CEUs) upon successful completion. Generally, continuing education units are not to be used as college credits applicable to a degree.
Continuing education courses are offered throughout the year.
The continuing education program strives to meet the community’s needs for lifelong learning. Please contact the Program Director for Continuing Education if training or instruction is needed in areas not included in College publications.
Northern offers courses and seminars for personal enrichment, cultural interests, and educational pursuits through community education programming. Community education offerings are arranged on each campus to meet local needs. Courses are short-term and noncredit. For information about courses or to request specific offerings, contact the appropriate Campus Manager or the Center for Economic and Workforce Development.