MARIETTA - Washington State Community College approved three new academic programs - all set to begin accepting students during the next few months.
At Monday's board of trustees meeting, the board approved a welding program, a Center for Public Safety Training and an associate of technical studies in cyber security and investigation.
People who want to become a part of one of the fastest growing career fields in the nation might consider cyber security. The salaries can range from $38,000 a year to up to $80,000, said Mollie Jarrell, assistant professor of criminal justice.
The program will be a combination of criminal justice and digital technology, and the program will prepare students for entry-level positions in the field, Jarrell said. She said advancement can come fast.
Esther Salem, assistant professor in digital technology, said the qualifications of all those certified are recognized nationally and internationally.
Meanwhile, John Burdette, public safety academy coordinator, will become full time in January when the Center for Public Safety Training opens.
"This is maybe a niche program we should be developing," said Washington State Community College President Bradley Ebersole.
The programs will involve motorcycle, volunteer firefighter, all-terrain vehicle, weapons and certified telecommunications specialist training. All the programs are geared toward training first responders, including police, Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers, firefighters, dispatchers and others.
"There is a need for local training, so we don't have to rely on the State Fire Marshal's Office (in Reynoldsburg) for training," Burdette said.
Also approved was a welding program, a career field that is expected to expand during the next few years.
Brenda Kornmiller, dean of business, engineering and industrial technologies, said the welding unions are looking to hire more welders and that there is an expected 15 percent growth in the number of jobs by 2020.
The Washington County Career Center has added to its pre-apprentice program.
Weld-ed.org indicates at least 30,000 new welders must enter the work force each year to keep up with the demand.
Washington State officials said they hope to have qualified instructors on staff by January.