Recession Roadkill. Pink-Slip Party. Unemployee. No-motion.* What a sign of our times. These new words and phrases have emerged recently in conversation and the popular media. Personally, I find encouragement that even when faced with adversity, we manage to find a way to laugh at ourselves.
Humor aside, it’s difficult to ignore the challenging times so many in our community face. Even if we ourselves remain fully employed, chances are several of our friends and family members are not as fortunate. We all have been touched in some way by the current recession.
I just returned from a conference sponsored by the California Workforce Association where I gave a presentation on “Re-tooling Displaced Professionals.” I have a strong commitment to fostering dialogue on this subject. During our current economic downturn, every single segment of the labor force has been affected, even highly educated, well-trained professionals with previously stable careers. Current discussions of unemployment seem to ignore this segment of our workforce. I assure you, we do not.
UCLA Extension is particularly well positioned to help professionals remain competitive in their chosen fields or to shift in a new direction. We help people acquire information and knowledge to launch their own business ventures, to network with peers, or simply to remain active and engaged by learning something new. We constantly scan the environment, consult with experts, refine existing programs, and create new ones to meet today’s specific need.
Hot areas projecting future employment growth include paralegal assisting, fundraising, healthcare management, corporate finance, and digital media. Our new certificates in Independent Music Production, Digital Photography, and Global Sustainability focus on some of these new areas of growth. We are exploring other green collar jobs in the area of energy and water conservation.
In fact, UCLA Extension’s unique ability to develop the “jobs of the future” was recently featured in UCLA Magazine. Read the online article here.
I hope you will spend some time on th UCLA Extension website taking a closer look at the various programs we offer. You may want to start with a single class. You can do that. You may be ready to commit to an entire professional certificate program. You can do that as well. We offer open enrollment—no special admission requirements for the vast majority of programs.
And now for our final new phrase for today: “Plug-and-play,” defined as “a new employee who needs little or no training”.
That is what we expect you will become after completing your career development program at UCLA Extension.
All the best,
Cathy Sandeen, Dean