Nearly once a month, the Barton Community College Board of Trustees hears a report on how well the college is meeting one of its nine overarching goals, known as ENDs. For the ENDS report on “Regional Workforce Needs,” the board heard from five community volunteers – industry professionals who serve on advisory boards to Barton’s workforce training programs.
This END states, “The College’s Workforce Training & Community Education Division utilizes a variety of external resources to respond to regional workforce needs.” Dean of Workforce Training Elaine Simmons said the college has 16 advisory boards, and 428 industry partners.
Visiting criminal justice advisory board member Sgt. Andy VanDerWege from the Russell County Sheriff’s Office said that because the college listens to its advisors in the field, students in Barton’s programs receive the tools they need for entering the workforce.
Other advisory board members provided similar positive comments.
Chief Nursing Officer at Clara Barton Hospital in Hoisington Jane Schepmann has been a member of the nursing advisory board for six years.
“I really feel like I have input on this advisory board,” she said. “For me to have the opportunity to have input on the final product is huge because when they come out of the program, I know what they’ve learned and I can take it from there. I’d never hesitate to call any of Barton’s administrators or an instructor. I think we have an excellent working relationship. Whatever you’re doing – just keep doing it.”
Other comments were from Adina Gregory from Great Bend Regional Hospital (nursing), Chandler Wieland from Airgas (industrial technology - welding) and Matt Hoisington, owner of C&V Home Improvement (business).
It was noted that Barton offers almost $187,000 in workforce training scholarships through the Barton Foundation.
The report also included comments from Barton’s Dean of Fort Riley Technical Education and Military Outreach Training Bill Nash. His report was about the application of this END to Environmental Technology and Military Programs. He gave an overview of his programs’ highlights from the past year, which included Barton being named the only official Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) education site in the state. In addition, he highlighted the continued growth of Barton’s HAZMAT program, the Military Onsite Training Program and the addition of a new program to teach hazardous waste worker training to transitioning soldiers, their family members and veterans at no cost.