Now that the chaos of the holidays are over, and we’re two weeks into a new year – start of the new Roaring 20’s! – for many people, this is a time to reassess their life’s goals and make changes. Some strive to lose weight; some want to be more active in their communities; and for many others, a career change is their target. Whether you’re stuck in a rut at work, or you’re not earning the money you think you should be, or you want to do something that you’re passionate about, the path toward a new career starts with learning a new skill.
Penn Commercial offers a dozen programs in industries where workers are desperately needed. Demand for employees is high, and that’s good news in the form of rising wages. Supply vs Demand works both ways. When there’s a shortage of a skilled workforce, businesses must increase salaries and wages to entice people to get into those career fields. Graduates of Penn Commercial are finding success in their pursuit of new jobs and higher incomes in these high demand industries. For certain programs, the recent graduate employment rate is 100%.
“There are so many jobs for medical assistants. Right now we have people knocking down the door wanting our MAs,” says Natalie McAnallen, Lead Instructor of the Medical Assistant Program. “We don’t have enough MAs to fill all the positions.”
Western Pennsylvania is a hub for medicine and healthcare. Due to many contributing factors, such as an aging population, major hospital networks, and thousands of clinics, facilities and medical offices, the demand for medical assistants has risen in recent years. Penn Commercial offers an 18-month Medical Assistant program which awards a specialized associate degree upon completion, as well as an abbreviated 12-month course, for those looking to enter the healthcare field quickly.
“There are a lot of mechanical opportunities around locally with machine shops, things of that nature where you’re working with parts and pieces that you have to design for manufacturing,” adds Wesley Briant, Lead Instructor of the Computer Aided Drafting and Design Program (CADD).
“It’s a good field to get into. I really believe it’s something that if you enjoy it, and you’re willing to put in the effort, it can actually be a lucrative field to be in.”
CADD is an incredibly important position. Nearly everything around us had to first be developed digitally before it could be built, produced or manufactured. From the water bottle on your desk to the car you drive to work to the building you’re sitting in, all of those things had to have a blueprint from which to build from. Drafters use various CAD software to create those blueprints, which are either sent to a machine to produce those 3D products, or used by contractors to develop buildings. Students in the Computer Aided Drafting and Design program are finding immediate success after graduation because of the high demand for employees with that specific skillset. For people who enjoy developing worlds in video games and creating art on computers, CADD is the perfect career choice.
For those looking for more of a hands-on approach, the HVAC-R Program allows students to learn an industry that is desperate for workers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration technicians is 13% for years 2018 to 2028. That is significantly higher than average. Median pay for HVAC-R techs is $47,610 per year.
Penn Commercial’s HVAC-R Training Program is just 18 months long, and offers a specialized associate degree to those who successfully complete the course. One of the top brands in the industry, Lennox, has teamed up with Penn Commercial to supply equipment for students to learn on. We’re the only Lennox Partner School in the tri-state area, and Penn Commercial has become a destination school for those seeking to learn skills in the HVAC-R field. Because of the availability of affordable local housing, students are traveling from out-of-state to train in our HVAC-R program!
But it’s not just Lennox’s products that students will learn on. Professional HVAC-R techs need to know and understand a variety of brands, so our labs also have appliances by Carrier, Trane, GE, Payne, Kenmore, KitchenAid and others.
For those looking to start a new career almost immediately, the Commercial Driver’s License Training Program gets students behind the wheel of a big rig and prepared for their CDL-A exam in as little as six weeks! The demand for truck drivers has never been higher. Due to the increase of online shopping and home delivery, products need to move farther and faster. And it takes truck drivers to get these goods to their destinations.
“Once you get your license, unless you don’t want to work, you’ll always have a job,” says Ben Crawford, Lead CDL Instructor. “Everything you own comes from a truck. Everything.”