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OU's SBA and No Worker Left Behind retrain workers for new careers

Tuesday, August 4, 2009
OU's SBA and No Worker Left Behind retrain workers for new careers
Michigan's No Worker Left Behind program aims to train people for new careers in emerging industries. Many professionals with NWLB funding are turning to Oakland University's School of Business Administration for undergraduate, graduate and professional education certificate programs to acquire the skills necessary to rejoin the workforce.

With NWLB support, Anne Stebbins enrolled in the SBA’s paralegal certificate program to prepare for a new career as a paralegal. An employment generalist at Chrysler’s Warren Truck Plant, she was laid off in 2007.

"I knew I had to get additional education to be marketable and update my skills," Stebbins said. "NWLB definitely made the difference whether I returned to school or not. My husband had been laid off in March 2006 and had found another job for a lower wage, restricting our already tight budget. Then, two months after I began the SBA’s Paralegal program he was laid off again and has not found a job yet."

The NWLB program covers up to two years of tuition at any Michigan community college, university or approved training program to work towards a degree or occupational certificate in a high-demand occupation, emerging industry or entrepreneurship program. Eligible workers have either been laid off, accept unemployment or have a family income of less than $40,000.

To apply for the program, visit a local Michigan Works! Agency to sign up for NWLB, attend orientation meetings and complete assessments. If approved, workers receive a referral for training, as well as career and course advising.

All of OU’s SBA programs – bachelor’s, master’s, graduate certificate and professional certificate programs – help workers develop skills for the new economy and qualify for NWLB support.

Professional certificate programs offered through the SBA’s Center for Integrated Business Research and Education (CIBRE) professional education department include Certified Financial Planning, Paralegal and Automotive Product Development Management. Review programs and workshops include Quantitative Methods, Project Management and Appraisal.

Fulfilling its mission to help transform the Michigan economy, the CIBRE is frequently adding certificate courses for participants to gain new skills in emerging and high-demand fields in a relatively short time. New programs this summer include the Project Management Certificate, Project Management (PMI) Examination Review, Web 2.0 Interface Development, Credit Analysis and Financial Distress and Corporate Restructuring.

For workers planning to build on existing skills and education, the SBA offers graduate programs in business administration, accounting and information systems technology management. Other programs include a MBA/JD dual degree, post master's certificates and an Executive MBA with concentrations in health care management or information systems leadership.

“An educated and skilled workforce is critical as Michigan attempts to attract a new and diverse business portfolio. Helping retool the workforce helps Michigan keep its business edge,” said Lori Crose, director of operations for the CIBRE’s professional education department. “Many of our alumni and others are looking to universities and community colleges to help them educate, re-educate and retool for the new economy. Our mission is to serve the community.”

To locate the closest Michigan Works! Office, visit www.michiganworks.org or call (800) 285-WORKS (9675). For more information about CIBRE’s programs or to register, visit the SBA’s Professional and Community Education Web site at www.sba.oakland.edu/ce/ or call (248) 370-3177.