Carroll Community College director discusses Workforce Training Certificate program

Carroll Community College director discusses Workforce Training Certificate program
Steve Berry has been the Director of Career and Continuing Professional Education at Carroll Community College since 2015. (Contributed)

Steve Berry has been the Director of Career and Continuing Professional Education at Carroll Community College since 2015 after working for the State of Maryland for 13 years in several leadership positions within workforce development.

In his current position at the college, Berry focuses on development and oversight of non-credit workforce related courses and training programs leading to occupational preparation and industry/professional certification.


Q: What are you most excited about heading into the 2018-2019 school year at Carroll Community College?

A: Within our Workforce Training Certificate programs, we have compiled a wide selection of programming that will meet the needs of anyone looking to begin, enhance or change a career. This fall our programs will offer career training in drone technology, health care, information technology, veterinary assistant, childcare, fitness, media, real estate, trades, and transportation. After completing one of these certificate programs, our students are issued a digital badge, which is micro credential to validate their new skills across all online platforms. This credential instantly lets employers know what competencies our students have learned in the program. Students can use the badge’s labor market tool to search and apply for job opportunities.

Q: What is an advantage to obtaining a non-credit Workforce Training Certification versus enrolling in a traditional credit program?

A: A large majority of our Workforce Training Certificate programs can be completed in less than one year, many in six months or less. The programs offer flexible scheduling, can be taken throughout the year and are instructed by industry experts.Carroll’s Workforce Training Certificates are strategically designed with the input of local professionals, community businesses and organizations, as well utilize current labor market data to identify and create quality programs that lead to increased employment opportunities.

Q: What is your favorite part about being Director of Career and Continuing Professional Education at Carroll Community College?

A: My favorite part as the director here is how nimble we are to an ever-changing workforce. We have the ability to identify changing or emerging workforce trends and react quickly, creating dynamic customized programs to meet employer’s needs.

Look at our drone program as an example. The technology involved in this field has applications across several platforms and industries. Understanding that emerging local and regional workforce need, over the past several months we have worked with several subject matter experts and have developed a very robust Commercial UAS (Drone) Pilot program set to roll out this Fall.

Q: What do you notice to be the most popular non-credit workforce training certification sought in Carroll County? Why do you think that is?

A: Historically, our health care Workforce Training Certificate programs have been the most popular. The non-credit certificate programs we have traditionally offered include Certified Nursing Assistant, Dental Assistant, EKG Technician, Medical Assistant, Medical Biller, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy Technician and Veterinary Assistant. Recently we have added three new programs, Emergency Medical Technician, Patient Care Technician and Sterile Processing Technician. We feel the continued high enrollments in these programs directly reflect the increase in the aging population within Carroll County and the region.

We have seen increased enrollments in our both our trades and drone technology programs. Our apprenticeship programs, electrical and HVAC, have experienced significant growth in the past two years, along with the welding program. Our new Commercial UAS (Drone) Pilot Certificate program, launching in late August, has already nearly reached enrollment capacity for that class, and our October class is filling quickly. The increased interest and enrollments within these programs is attributed to the high demand for skilled employees within these areas.

Q: What is the median age for people enrolled in these courses? Do you notice a certain demographic enrolls more than another?

A: We serve students at various points in their lives. Our students could be right out of high school, looking to begin a career; they could be currently employed, seeking advancement, or they could be returning to the workforce and need to update their skills. That is the beauty of our workforce training programs, students can take advantage of our services that include guidance from a career navigator, learn from expert instructors and gain current in demand knowledge that leads to employment.