Market Yourself with In-Demand Skills

By Andy Cook

First, the Lehigh Valley boasts two community colleges:  Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC), and Northampton Community College (NCC). Community colleges offer quality education that is both affordable and accessible. You may want a two-year associate’s degree, or perhaps a program which lets you transfer to a four-year college or university to complete your education with a bachelor’s degree. Be sure to ask if there are any grants or scholarships available, or search the internet. You need to do your homework before you even step into the classroom.

LCCC has a host of offerings that include for-credit options and noncredit courses as well. These include Ballroom Dancing, Italian for Travelers and Fly Fishing. LCCC also helps people get their GED, learn English as a Second Language, and brush up on computer skills from basic to advanced levels.

“An example of one of our new programs this fall is Computer Game & Simulation Development. The courses are extremely collaborative and on the leading edge of where the growth industries are,” says Paula Hannam, LCCC’s Director of Marketing and Publications.  For more information,

NCC also offers an array of non-credit classes, short-term training programs, and full-fledged associate degree programs in more than 100 fields ranging from theater to engineering. Some of their most popular majors include childhood education, criminal justice and business administration.

Students are equally diverse, ranging in age from 15 to 84. Heidi Butler, NCC’s Director of Public Information and Community Relations shared that “our graduates include nurses and doctors, CEOs, teachers, artists, and even some Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award winners.” To learn more, go to

If you are looking for career options in technical or service fields, you may want to research some of the other opportunities available here in the Lehigh Valley.

Career Institute of Technology (CIT) is a regional technical school serving five local public school districts, and even though many think these are just for high school students, CIT offers adult classes in many of their programs. Programs run the gamut from Automotive Collision to Welding, Building Construction to Culinary Arts, Heating/Ventilation/Refrigeration/Plumbing and Masonry.

CIT classes are offered  day or   evening  and adults may enroll on their own, funded by an employer for advanced skill training, or funded through government assistance programs for displaced workers. In today’s economy, it’s important to investigate all funding options.

Ron Roth, CIT’s Administrative Director noted that,  “Upon completion, most of our students are qualified to work in good paying, in-demand careers.  Many in the public do not recognize that the need for skilled workers exists in a wide variety of
occupations.” For more information, visit

Since  people like  to look good as they climb the corporate ladder or change careers, the demand for hair stylists and other professionals in the cosmetology field is constant.  One new beauty school is Trendz Beauty Academy, which recently opened in Easton. Courses include cosmetology, barbering,  nail technician and esthetics. Licensing in this field is a state requirement and Trendz’s programs provide the training and documentation to successfully pass the state board exam and compliance requirements.

Samantha Cabrera, Trendz’ Director of Admission and Finance says “Our goal is producing highly trained, dedicated and fully qualified professionals to meet the needs of our diverse population within our communities.”  For more information, check out

Think about this for a moment: Two years from now, you can be  two years older or  two years older with new skills under your belt. Which will you choose?

Career Institute of Technology (CIT)

Ron Roth, Administrative Director
5335 Kesslersville Road
Easton, PA 18042

Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC)
Paula Hannam, Director of Marketing and Publications
4525 Education Park Drive
Schnecksville, PA 18078

Northampton Community College (NCC)
Heidi Butler, Director of Public Information and Community Relations
3835 Green Pond Road
Bethlehem, PA 18020

Trendz Beauty Academy
Samantha Cabrera, Director of Admission and Finance
355 Spring Garden Street
Easton, PA 18042

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