ShareThis Page
News

WCCC to offer customer service program

| Thursday, March 29, 2012

Westmoreland County Community College trustees approved a new certificate program in customer service at their monthly board meeting Wednesday.

The 18-credit Customer Service in Office Technology certificate program is expected to start this fall and will include a newly created three-credit course in customer service. The program's curriculum is designed to prepare students to communicate professionally with a diverse range of customers and to respond to a variety of customer service requests and complaints. Students will also be proficient in Microsoft Office software, according to the program proposal.

The new course in customer service will "examine attitudes, knowledge and skills that are needed to work effectively in any job that has contact with clients/customers/patients." It will aim to show how customer service impacts businesses in an increasingly competitive global economy and how customer dissatisfaction can cause a loss of market share, according to the course description.

The certificate program is part of an initiative by all 14 community colleges in Pennsylvania to respond to a strong demand statewide for an educational program that emphasizes customer service skills.

The colleges collectively received a $20 million federal grant under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program, part of the 2009 federal stimulus bill.

Work groups with representatives from each college met to look at a variety of areas where they could better support job creation with their educational programs, said Anna Marie Palatella, a spokeswoman for WCCC. Details on Luzerne County Community College's existing customer service certificate were distributed to the other 13 schools, but Palatella said she was unsure how closely WCCC's course will follow that model.

On the local level, members of WCCC's advisory committees have indicated there is a need for soft skills, particularly in customer service, she said.

And the Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Area projects an annual job growth rate in the field of about 14 percent and salaries averaging about $30,930. The state Department of Labor & Industry anticipates 134 job openings per year in customer service in the region.

Students in the certificate program will take six courses: mathematics of business, introduction to business, microcomputer concepts, document processing I, customer service and interpersonal communication.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me