Call Center Training Program at North Campus Has First Graduates

Published 02.28.2002


Six people who completed a new Call Center/Customer Service Training program were honored during ceremonies held Feb. 22 at Pennsylvania College of Technology's North Campus near Wellsboro.

Staff from the North Campus and Penn College's Technology Transfer Center developed the 186-hour noncredit training program at the request of several area employers. Employer input helped to ensure the program reflects current and emerging trends in the call center industry. Employers also provided other "real-world" experiences, such as tours and job shadowing to maximize learning.

"Employers were vital partners in this process from beginning to end," said Dr. Ted Nichols, director of North Campus outreach services. "We are indeed grateful for their involvement with us on this project."

The program provides the entry-level and advanced skills needed for successful employment in call/contact center operations or other positions involving high-quality customer service. Skills in areas such as communications, customer-service strategies, keyboarding, computer applications and sales/marketing were developed through classroom activities, simulations, "side-jack" (instructor-monitored phone) exercises, and job shadowing.

The program's centerpiece prepares students for the Electronics Technician Association (ETA) exam required for certification as a customer-service specialist. Labor-market data show the call center/customer-service field to be a high-demand occupation, with the need for skilled employees often exceeding the available supply. Employers hiring qualified program graduates may be eligible for tax credits.

Family, friends, employer representatives and College faculty joined graduates for the recent celebration at the North Campus. A luncheon prior to the ceremony included pot-luck dishes prepared by graduates. Following remarks by faculty, the students received a certificate of completion, a program booklet and several mementos from the College in recognition of their accomplishments.

Those completing the program are: Tom Briggs, Tioga; Amy Clark, Johnsonburg; Beverly Gray, Wellsboro; Jill Mattison, Wellsboro; Marcus Smith, Ceres, N.Y.; and Donald Tilton, Ulysses.

"As an adult with family responsibilities, this program was a great way for me to further my education and develop additional skills in a short time frame," Briggs said.

Gray described her experience with the class as "a wonderful learning experience."

For more information about the Call Center/Customer Service Training program, contact the North Campus at (570) 724-7703 or visit on the Web.