-A A +A

RCBC Workforce Development Institute’s programs connect students with jobs

Photo of Maria Davis, former student in the Workforce Development Institute's Transportation, Logistics and Distribution program

For most people, a career path is no longer a straight line, but a series of twists and turns that requires workers to use education to keep their skills in line with the modern workforce.

Rowan College at Burlington County is the perfect vehicle for people to transform themselves into a new career.

“The nature of the world is changing, so the nature of higher education must as well,” said Rowan College at Burlington County Acting President Michael Cioce. “We have partnered with Rowan University to offer students a more affordable route to a bachelor’s degree, but higher education is not a one-size-fits-all model. Our Workforce Development Institute provides comprehensive training and skills to help people find good, stable jobs, or to advance their careers.”

Described by Freeholder Linda Hughes as “innovative” at the college’s commencement ceremony in May, RCBC’s Workforce Development Institute combines county and college resources, offering professional development programs to companies, partnerships with more than 75 companies and education programs.

Seven new education programs have been developed, including the new Transportation, Logistics and Distribution program, which has a 57 percent job placement rate. Most impressive to program student Maria Davis, the program offers a certification by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

“That’s a nationally-recognized certification,” Davis, 49, said, adding, “Usually only top-level managers have those types of certifications, so having it is really a positive.”

“We connect with employers to learn about their needs for skills, and develop our programs accordingly,” said Anna Payanzo Cotton, Vice President of Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning at the college. “Our students have the skills, training and certifications necessary to be successful in their industries.”

Davis, of Palmyra, worked in supply chain management for around 15 years before being laid off due to downsizing. She found a job while enrolled in the program and now works for an H&M distribution center that supports around 500 stores.

“Supply chain management involves keeping goods moving from start to finish, so there are a lot of different facets and levels,” she explained. “For example, I wasn’t as well-versed in imports/exports. There was a lot of really good information in the program: it added to what I already knew.

“Overall, I was extremely impressed with the whole program,” Davis said. “I wish I could have finished it, but I’m very satisfied with my current job.”

Tiffany Wilcox, 43, of Willingboro, also enrolled in the Transportation, Logistics and Distribution program. Like Davis, she had prior experience in the industry and found the program after being laid off.

“The Customer Service module really stood out to me,” Wilcox said about the program. “It was the last module, and I almost didn’t take it. I’m so glad I did because it really extended beyond the title. It went over skills like resume writing, identifying communication styles and how to connect with others who communicate differently. You can take those skills with you anywhere, regardless of the industry.

“The instructors were exceptional. They had years of experience in the field, which took the program beyond learning out of a book and gave us an overview of real day-to-day operations, and what it’s really like to work in the industry,” she said.

“Nobody does Classroom to Career better than RCBC,” said Cioce. “Our programs are tailored to industry requirements, thanks to our many partnerships with businesses like Virtua, Wawa and Bayada, and our faculty are dedicated and experienced. With all of these factors, it’s no surprise that our graduates earn 6.1 percent more than their peers.”

The other education programs include Women in Sustainable Employment, 911 Dispatch, Advanced Manufacturing, Cisco CNNET and CCNA certifications, Solar Ready and Pharmacy Technician. To learn more about the Workforce Development Institute’s education programs, go to rcbc.edu/workforce/education-programs.

Article by Madison Weller, Rowan College at Burlington County Strategic Marketing and Communications Intern, for the Burlington County Times

Pictured: Maria Davis enrolled in Rowan College at Burlington County's Transportation, Logistics and Distribution program and now works for an H&M distribution center.