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January 16, 2013

New certificate program at Blinn trains students for office positions

Demand for office jobs expected to surge in the decade ahead

A new certificate program from Blinn College’s A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center will help fill the Brazos Valley’s demand for qualified office employees.

Blinn’s professional office specialist program trains students for professions that include office manager, administrative assistant, executive secretary and general office employee.

“This program was designed to be skill-specific rather than industry-specific,” said David Yeager, director of the Technical Education Center. “If you want to work as an administrative assistant, you can apply with this certificate and be a better applicant no matter the industry.”

Prior to creating the program, Blinn gathered data from the Brenham and Bryan Economic Development Foundations and found that administrative assistants, executive secretaries, office managers and general office employees were projected to be among the 30 fastest-growing jobs in both the state of Texas and the Brazos Valley over the next 10 years.

Classes are held from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday for five weeks. Students are trained in basic office skills as well as technical skills such as bookkeeping, payroll, inventory management, bank conciliation and the use of word processing and spreadsheet software.

Students are also instructed in customer service skills, workplace communication and behavior, email, verbal and nonverbal communication, formal and informal communication and listening skills.

The course covers business enhancement skills such as time management, assertiveness and projecting a positive image, and financial and accounting skills such as basic math, the fundamentals of finance, debits and credits and cost accounting.

Graduates of the certificate program can earn between $24,000 and $34,000 in starting salary, Yeager said.

The first classes begin Jan. 28 and will run through March 1. The course costs $550, and partial scholarships are available. For more class information or to fill out a scholarship application, visit www.blinn.edu/blinntec or call 979-830-4443.

Blinn’s Technical Education Center was built in 2009 to help meet the current and future workforce needs of Washington and the surrounding counties.