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Course will support new industry

Paul D. Camp Community College is stepping in to help prepare the area’s workforce for the opportunities that will be prevalent with the growth of the warehouse and distribution industry in the area.

Registration is now under way for the college’s second semester offering a three-course class, Warehouse and Distribution Operations, which allows students to obtain their Warehouse and Distribution Operations Career Studies Certification.

“It’s a program that did very well last semester,” Paul D. Camp Community College Coordinator of Workforce Development Bob Hayes said. “We had students in the class from students right out of high school to a man who had worked for International Paper for 30 years. It’s for anyone looking for a career to go into with available jobs.”

Established in January with input from local businesses, including QVC, Target, Safeco and World Market, the program requires three classes, which total nine credits — introduction to business, team concepts and problem solving and studies in warehouse and distribution operation.

“The credits can either be put to use getting a job in the market or be used toward an associate’s or bachelor’s degree,” Hayes said.

Because it’s only nine credits, and a full load is considered 12 credits and all classes are in the evening, the program allows for students to be enrolled while still working a job.

“You can take this program and get your certification no matter where you are in life,” Hayes said. “As long as you have a high school diploma or GED, you can take the course. Whether you want to transfer to a different job or you’re right at of high school, we’ve made this program to suit your schedule.”

The goal of the program is to connect area workers with the new jobs that will be available as a result of the growing logistics industry, Hayes said.

“We put it together because of the expansion of the ports in the area and increase in the amount of warehouse space that’s being developed in the Suffolk, Isle of Wight and Southampton service areas,” he explained. “For example, the CenterPoint operation on [Route] 58 will provide a lot of employment in the future.”

A well-trained workforce will also help attract new businesses, he said.

“By training people here and bringing recruitment to the area, the cities we serve can attract more businesses by letting them know the workforce here is ready and able,” Hayes said.

Deadline to register is Aug. 19.

Scholarships are available to students who qualify.