We Have a Class for That! RCTC’s Center for Business and Workforce Education offers professional training for businesses

0013Keeping up with the motto “We Have a Class for That!” demands adaptability and versatility. The Center for Business and Workforce Education (BWE) at Rochester Community and Technical College has both.

    BWE designs and delivers employee training programs for area businesses. What kinds of training? A full sweep. “You bring us the topic; we’ll find the class,” says Abbey Hellickson, M.Ed., workforce development specialist. “BWE will adapt to businesses’ specific needs.”

A tailor-made strategy

The BWE approach features:
Needs Assessment. The employer and BWE discuss the company’s problems and goals.
Instructor Selection. BWE chooses a trainer with the background and teaching style that best suit the business.
Curriculum Customization. BWE designs a program specific to the client.
Delivery. BWE presents classes when, where and how the employer chooses.
Evaluation. BWE conducts appraisals to ensure client needs are met. BWE instructors, says Abbey, like to hear students say, “I can really apply this to my work.”


The BWE exercises flexibility. Businesses served include manufacturing, healthcare, food processing, nonprofits, and trade and industry, “and classes include pretty much everything in several categories,” says Abbey. Those categories include leadership, healthcare (including an RN refresher course for relicensing), computers, safety and OSHA and other government-mandated training.     

    BWE offers noncredit, continuing education units (CEU) and credit courses, in a classroom, online or a blend of both, at the client’s location or at RCTC, day or night. “One of the [most fun] classes I taught was 10 p.m. to midnight, to people at the end of their shift and others just coming on,” says Sara Bunge, M.Ed., workforce development manager.


Typical clients are businesses with 50 to 400 employees; 95 percent of classes are paid for by employers. BWE also serves individuals who want to upgrade their skills. Noncredit open enrollment courses include Microsoft Office, leadership and professional development.

    Want more information? Call BWE at 507-280-3157, e-mail WorkforceEducation@rctc.roch.edu or see rctc.edu/workforce.

Rochester freelancer Karen Snyder lives with her cocker spaniel, Chester, who’d rather play fetch or chase the laser than let her write.