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MTCC Reaffirms Commitment to Flexible, Short-Term Training

As the demand for skilled and semi-skilled workers increases, McDowell Technical Community College has re-affirmed its commitment to workforce development programs that train employees for a variety of short-term career pathways. 

Starting in August 2022, the college will offer a series of short-term construction trades and advanced manufacturing academies for students who want to quickly train for high-paying, in-demand jobs without necessarily committing to a full degree program.

MAP Become and Apprentice

Fast-Track Career Academies

Beginning this fall, students can earn industry recognized credentials that are a pathway to good careers in:

  • Plumbing Level One
  • Heating and Refrigeration Technology
  • Residential Electrical Systems
  • Intro to CNC Machining and Milling Level One
  • Construction Trades, including carpentry and project management

Classes begin on August 8, with the exception of the Heating and Refrigeration Technology class, which begins on August 15. Each class lasts 8 to 16 weeks and most are offered during the evening hours with some online coursework required.

“These new academies can prepare students to enter the workforce in a matter of weeks,” said Stacy Buff, Associate Vice-President of Workforce Development. “Each of the classes can also be applied toward a degree program if the student later decides to continue their studies. And thankfully, classes are still tuition-free through 2023.”

“Our initial Construction Trades Academy began earlier this year and has been a big success,” he said. “Students in that first cohort will graduate on June 23, and many of those students have already transitioned into a work-based learning module in paid positions with Gateway Foundation. Those students are doing residential construction for a low-income housing project, and some will continue to work for Gateway when they graduate, while some are going to work for other employers or starting their own businesses.”

The McDowell Apprenticeship Program (MAP)

Through its revamped work-based learning efforts, the McDowell Apprenticeship Program (MAP), now allows students to combine academic studies at McDowell Tech with approved hands-on training programs with local business and industry partners where students work in paid positions alongside master technicians and crafts persons. Students earn college credit for both the academic work, as well as the work-based learning program.

For more information about apprenticeship and work-based learning opportunities, visit

While Construction Trades Academies are a popular option for many students beginning “Fast-Track Career Training Programs,” said Buff, Fast Track Programs are not limited to the Construction Trades. Students interested in the medical field, for example, may choose from a variety of short-term healthcare training programs, such as Nurse Aide I, EMT (Emergency Medical Technician), Paramedic and Healthcare Billing and Coding. Firefighting, Basic Law Enforcement, Mechatronics and Esthetics are also among the current list of programs for which students can register.

“Our primary mission is to promote workforce development, and we are strongest when we partner with local employers to create direct pathways into local careers,” said Dr. Brian S. Merritt, MTCC President. “When students train for new jobs, and as we engage with more employers through the McDowell Apprenticeship Program, there will be a positive multiplier effect—students improve their socioeconomic status, employers become more profitable, efficient and successful, and local and regional economies become stronger and more robust. It is why we do what we do, and why our graduates are as successful as they are.”

To register for one of MTCC’s Fast-Track Career Training Programs, visit .

To learn more about the McDowell Apprenticeship Program, visit

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