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Normandale Offers $500 Class For High-Demand Job

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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) — Normandale Community College in Bloomington announced a win-win for job seekers Thursday: Course work in a field with jobs that are in demand.

In July, Minnesota lost 19,800 jobs, sending its unemployment rate up slightly to 7.2 percent. Despite these figures, the college found a national shortage of 51,000 Health IT workers.

“Clinics and hospitals are actually scrambling to find people,” says Dr. James Welters from Northwest Family Physicians, “Having someone you can turn to to just do it, allows me and my partners and my staff to get back to work and taking care of patients.”

So, the $500 class crams two years worth of classes related to the field into six months. It’s cheap because of an $800,000 Federal Stimulus Grant, but the school must also enroll 150 people.

Students who graduated last Spring in the school’s first class say the payoff was immediate.

“Demand for this type of work is going to be very high,” said graduate Paul Jorgenson. “Actually, starting Monday I have a consulting job I’m going to do.”

Instructors say it’s open to anyone who either has a background in “working in” or “working with” jobs in Healthcare or IT.

“It’s all via internet, so if you lived outstate, you could take the program. If you live right here, you can take the program,” says Sunny Ainley.

It’s also open to all ages.

“Peers in my class the age range average was 49 or 50 years old,” says Paul Jorgenson. “So, a lot of us were nervous going back to school.”

With a job about to begin, however, Jorgenson’s nerves have turned to excitement.

With doctors’ offices across the country having to be 100 percent digital by 2014, demand for these jobs should only increase.

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