Career Makeovers

June 16, 2009 8:31:51 PM PDT
Enrollment in trade and technical schools is going up as the unemployed look to market themselves in a whole new way. And you can learn everything you need to know to start a new career in about a year or less. "They dropped the bomb that they were shutting the plant," said William Taylor of Deptford New Jersey.

At 57 years old the former water treatment operator is switched gears.

Taylor is reinventing himself by heading back to class to become a Pharmacy Tech.

"I don't know if I still have the technique to learn," added Taylor.

"The economy made it impossible for me to find work," said Deborah Quinn 52 year old Quinn is also hoping a new career as a pharmacy tech will give her an edge in the workforce.

"I stayed in the same job for thirty years," she added.

Taylor and Quinn are joining a growing list of baby boomers going back to school after getting laid off.

"We're filling class's way in advance, way in advance to the point where it's a first come basis," said Steven Tullio of Pennco Tech admissions.

Tullio said the school has seen a dramatic increase in older students looking to gain a marketable skill "Everyone needs a plumber, everyone needs an electrician, diesel mechanics. Our medical classes are larger and more successful than ever," he added.

This time last year Pennco Tech had about 400 students.

This year, that number has surpassed 550 and the classrooms keep growing.

There's even a waiting list to get in some programs.

"When I get out of school now hopefully I could start my own business," said Vincent Scott.

At 43 Scott is learning to become an HVAC Tech after his old job as a chemical operator was eliminated.

And he's taking advantage of a federal Trade Act program which allows certain students to go back to school while still receiving unemployment benefits.

"I'm learning a new thing that I have never had learned before in my life," added Scott.

Programs at Pennco Tech run from 4 months to 16 months. Tuition will cost you $6,000 to $28,000 depending on the program. Campuses are in Blackwood, New Jersey, and Bristol, Pennsylvania.

If a technical school isn't up your alley how about a beauty school?

Enrollment at Empire Schools in Philadelphia and New Jersey have gone up 24% since last year.

Many students were once professionals in the banking and mortgage industries.

To get a cosmetology certification at Empire Beauty School expect to pay about $14,000 in Pennsylvania. It costs about $12,000 in New Jersey. It typically takes a full-time student about 10 months to complete the course work required for certification.

Also, Orleans Tech is a trade school in Northeast Philadelphia.

It is now offering a brand new hands-on training program to respond to the exploding demand for Telecommunications Technicians. Students will learn to install and trouble-shoot home theater equipment, fiber optics, cable and satellite.

The first six-month program is starting on Monday . But you can still enroll in a 13-month evening program that will start July 29th.


To make sure a school is accredited by the federal government - click here:

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