Well-kept training secret unveiled Business campus has new computer lab

March 04, 1993|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Staff Writer

It still surprises Gloria Holland when businesses "discover" the mini business campus of Anne Arundel Community College tucked away in Arundel Center North in Glen Burnie.

After all, for 12 years the Office of Business and Employee Training has instructed hundreds of workers from Westinghouse, Fort Meade and the Naval Academy, to name just a few, in everything from office management to stress management.

Still, the center, with its 10-room suite of classrooms, has seen its client list grow largely by word of mouth.

"As businesses are downsizing and trying to do more with less, they're looking more for skill-related training," said Ms. Holland, office director. "This is one way to do more with less."

Today, the managers will unveil their latest addition to the center, a 21-computer lab that specializes in Windows software, which Ms. Holland describes as the wave of the future. She'll try to convince representatives of some 28 businesses touring the site that the community college can handle employee training.

"Our office represents the cutting edge," she said.

"We're out there with businesses day in and day out, and when clients started moving to Windows, we couldn't fulfill their needs."

Businesses and government agencies contract with the center, which tailors training to specific job requirements.

Instructors, usually business consultants, teach either on site at a company or at the Arundel Center North.

Courses generally range from five to 72 hours. Training costs vary, often falling in the $500- to $1,000-a-day range.

The new computer lab is a natural extension for the nonprofit training center, its managers say.

Windows uses icons, or graphic symbols, to identify commands and programs, eliminating the need to type in commands on a keyboard. Instead, a user points out commands or programs with a desktop mouse.

"Most software is written for computer people," said Ronald R. Hearn, assistant dean for the community college's Continuing Education, which oversees the business development office. "Windows makes sense. It graphically shows you the next step."

Several agencies of the Department of Defense have begun converting to Windows, and college officials envision the technology becoming a standard in the business world and with nonprofit groups that need a user-friendly computer system.

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