TCC Opens New Technology Certification Center to Handle Demand for IT Training

“Tacoma Community College is opening a new Technology Certification Center at the Tacoma Mall to handle growing demand for skilled high-tech workers.The opening of the center comes on the heels of the release of an economic development assessment highly recommending more high-tech training for the greater Tacoma area.Governor Gary Locke spoke at the formal dedication ceremonies for the new facility last week.The new full service training and certification facility was developed in direct response to a critical shortage of skilled technical workers. With high-tech companies starting and locating in the Tacoma area, Locke has asked community and technical colleges to take aggressive action to expand their information technology programs to address the growing hiring needs.A recent Washington Software Association survey estimated that in the next three years 40,000 workers with technology degrees, certification or training are likely to be needed statewide.Currently, workers with more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree comprise the biggest technology employee shortage in Pierce County, according to the state. The new TCC training center will provide both certification training and on-site testing for those seeking to enhance their information technology careers.TCC has established a dedicated, one stop IT certification center to support economic development efforts of Tacoma – one of the most wired cities in the U.S., said Wayne Williams, TCC dean for business and continuing education. Students now have one primary location to work with as they progress within the IT industry.The new facility is a Microsoft authorized Academic Training Program, certified by Cisco as a local Training Academy. The center will provide training, certification and on-site testing for A+ Certified Service Technician, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, MOUS Certification Testing, and more.Program graduates will receive nationally recognized proof of their technical achievements.Costs for the new certification programs range from $1,200 for basic A+ Certified Service Technician Training to $4,300 for the MCSE program.In addition to addressing Pierce County area business needs, Williams said the new center will also satisfy the needs of career-minded employees. Office workers seeking basic skills, as well as those in the higher end of the IT industry who need high-level technical training, will both be able to find training at TCC’s new center.The center is a reality because of a creative partnership between TCC and the Simon Property Group mall managers, Williams said.We are pleased to work with TCC to offer education and training at the mall, said Tacoma Mall General Manager Jerry Alder. This effort fits nicely with our corporate philosophy incorporating community educational resource centers into our malls. We are proud to work with TCC on this venture.The new center is located in the Tacoma Mall between the Bon Marche and Sears. Classes at the new center begin April 4. Hours of operation will be Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and on Fridays from 8:00 a.m.”