ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

FLATHEAD VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE

 

 

TRAINING AND ASSISTANCE FOR EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES

 

�         Customized Training

Flathead Valley Community College provides customized training for area employers and employees on a wide variety of topics ranging from problem solving to serving safe foods.  Communication, management, customer service, and computer applications are the most frequently requested programs.  During 2001, there have been 1,969 participants in 82 training sessions with twenty-two different businesses and organizations.  In February 2001, FVCC dedicated the First Interstate Workforce Training Lab, a thirteen station computer lab dedicated to training the current workforce. 

 

         Flathead Valley Center for Business Information and Research

The Flathead Valley Center for Business and Information Research was established in January 2001 with a $25,000 unrestricted gift from the First Interstate Bank.  The Center provides economic expertise to local business interests.  Projects conducted by the Center include: economic impact study for the Kalispell Regional Medical Center, development of a regional purchasing power index, and a comprehensive economic impact statement for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.  The Center participates in the Montana Outlook Conference held each year by the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

 

�         Business and Professional Development Workshops

Each month FVCC offers a series of professional development seminars to meet a wide range of business training needs.  In partnership with the Area Chambers of Commerce, these workshops are listed in the monthly Chamber newsletters and Chamber members receive a discount on tuition.  In 2001, 109 workshops have been conducted with 1,518 participants. 

 

         SUPERHOST

FVCC holds the state contract from the Department of Commerce for offering SUPERHOST, a customer service training program.  During 2000-2001, training was provided statewide to 2,000 Montana travel industry managers and employees and over 400 Montana High School students. 

 

PARTNERSHIPS IN COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS

 

�         Community Management Team

FVCC is a partner in the Flathead Community Management Team working with human service agencies to provide integrated services for individuals receiving training through programs under the Workforce Investment Act

 

�         Workforce 2020

FVCC is a partner with the Kalispell Area Chamber of Commerce, School District Five and the Flathead Job Service in Workforce 2020.  Workforce 2020 is designed to build a competitive and sustainable workforce by addressing the issues of recruiting, training and retaining skilled workers in the Kalispell area.  The project has included a comprehensive employer survey, the establishment of workforce academies where national and local experts discussed challenging employment issues and successful employment practices, and follow-up business roundtables. 

 

�         NorCor Project

FVCC is a partner with the University of Montana, Salish �Kootenai College and Ravalli County Chamber of Commerce/EDA in the Northern Rockies Research Park and Technology Corridor (NorCor) to generate new technology-based businesses.  In association with this effort, Flathead Valley Community College and Jobs Now, Inc. have formed a partnership to pursue the establishment of the Valley Enterprise Center, a business development center to support entrepreneurs, new and existing businesses, and business recruitment and expansion.  The Center would be a comprehensive one-stop business development center located at Flathead Valley Community College.

 

         Business Recruitment Efforts

FVCC works with Jobs Now, Inc., the Flathead Job Service, Area Chambers of Commerce, and local and county governments to assist in recruiting new businesses.  The College assisted in the establishment of a new, 1,000 employee, technology support call center in Kalispell by providing computer training to prospective employees.

 

PREPARING THE FUTURE WORKFORCE

 

         Placement

During 1999 -2000, 216 students graduated from FVCC occupational programs.  Ninety-seven percent became employed with an average salary of $9.99.

 

         Responding to the Community

As a Cisco �local� academy FVCC offers training toward Cisco certification.  Additionally, training opportunities in Heating, Ventilation, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration leading to Type 1 and Type 2 licenses through EPA Refrigerant Handlers Certification Exam are offered at FVCC.  Other new programs developed to meet local business and industry needs include: Web Technology - Small Business Web Master, Web Server Administrator, Call Center Specialist, Call Center Manager and Heavy Equipment Maintenance.  FVCC also provides Microsoft MOUS certification.

 

�         Tech Prep

FVCC has been involved with Tech Prep for the past seven years, and for the past four years has been the supervisory site for the Montana State Northwest Region.  This relationship involves 32 high schools and 10,600 high school students. Additionally, FVCC has developed relationships with five higher education institutions in the region.  Three FVCC programs have been created within the Tech Prep guidelines and offer an environment in which college and high school students can involved�Building Trades, Heavy Equipment Operation, Heating, Ventilation, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration.  Each of these programs were developed in response to community needs.