PROGRESS 2021: Calhoun launches training for next generation of manufa…


Editor’s Note: This article is part of an annual series by The News Courier called “Progress.” This year, our team is returning to its roots with a classic Progress look at how far our county has come and what lies ahead for organizations, departments, officials and residents in the Athens-Limestone area.

Calhoun Community College is launching a new, free career training initiative aimed at providing individuals with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to gain employment and succeed in the manufacturing industry. 

The career training initiative, known as STEPS (Students Taking Effective Pathways to Success) is part of the adult education division at Calhoun. 

The free eight-week program combines curriculum from the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council and Ready to Work curriculum into one program, according to Mindi Russell, Calhoun acting adult education director. 

Russell said the training is broken down into separate pathways, with the first being the MSSC Certified Production Technician curriculum along with soft skills training with the Ready to Work curriculum. Both combined provide “solid training” that is vital for job seekers to be effective team members in the manufacturing industry, she said. 

The courses are conducted through a combination of self-paced independent e-learning, asynchronous classwork as well as synchronous lecture classes. 

Requirements for the course include eight hours a week through the online platform, with the remainder of the material being completed independently by the student. 

“We currently have a partnership with Mazda Toyota (Manufacturing) where individuals are being trained to work for them and can use their certification from this program to apply for jobs through them,” said Denise Boswell, Calhoun Ready to Work coordinator and instructor.

Calhoun also offers additional training through the adult education department, which is highly recommended to expand job seekers’ skill sets, as well as career options, Calhoun officials said. That training includes OSHA 10 certification, White Belt of Six Sigma, as well as Certified Logistic Technician (CLT) and Certified Logistics Associate (CLA) certifications.

Visit or call 256-306-2830 to learn more about the free program and the many other certified trainings offered through Calhoun’s adult education department.


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