Co-Lin interest grows from IP news

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 31, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; The vocational-technical school at Copiah-Lincoln Community College has seen growing interest in its programs since the announced closure of International Paper’s Natchez mill.

Kaye Harris, assistant dean of the Natchez campus of Co-Lin and head of the vo-tech school, said pre-registration already is ahead of numbers at the same time last year. &uot;That doesn’t mean things won’t change by the first week of classes,&uot; she said. &uot;We’ll have some people who want to register that week and some who have decided to do something else and won’t show up.&uot;

The vo-tech school offers numerous opportunities for laid-off workers to train for new jobs and careers, Harris said. &uot;But there are many other opportunities out there for them. We know we are only one.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

Still, Co-Lin has looked ahead to a possible growing need in the community, adding classes such as the new heating and air-conditioning technology class.

&uot;That’s going to be a wonderful course,&uot; Harris said. &uot;We have a good, experienced teacher for it.&uot;

The practical nursing class, not offered for two years, has returned to the schedule and already has reached full capacity for the coming semester.

Other health-care courses have drawn interest from IP workers who are thinking about retraining as an option.

Those courses include the health care assistant program, emergency medical technician and respiratory care practitioner.

The school also offers electronics, hospitality and tourism technology and welding.

&uot;We’re offering a new course under business and office technology,&uot; Harris said. &uot;This actually is new to Mississippi, and Co-Lin is going to be the pilot for the program.&uot;

The two-year course is billing and coding technology. Other programs under business and office technology are medical records technology and office systems technology.

Registration is now open for the fall semester, which begins on Aug. 18.

On Thursday at 1 p.m. in the multipurpose room, the vo-tech school will hold an orientation session for all who are registered or are interested in considering Co-Lin courses this fall, Harris said.

&uot;Orientation is a good time to find out what you’ll be doing and where you’re going,&uot; Harris said. &uot;Anyone who can’t come Thursday can come to our second orientation, which will be at 1 p.m. on Aug. 12.&uot;