DeKalb Tech polls area on jobs, education

COVINGTON - DeKalb Technical College wants to know what's on the community's mind in terms of jobs and education.

To that end, the college is conducting an online Community Needs Survey to determine what it can do to improve its programs.

"The intent of it is to poll the community on what kind of educational needs they will have in the coming years," said Terry McCamish, director of institutional effectiveness for DeKalb Tech.

Questions on the survey include, "What are the top three challenges facing our community over the next five years?," "What are your top three concerns with the region's employment climate?" and "What are the top five occupational areas in which the region is facing the most severe employee shortages?"

The survey is conducted about every three years.

"The results are used internally so as to do advance planning for programs where we would need to start new programs," McCamish said.

The new Fire Science and Law Enforcement Academy was a result of the last survey.

"We kind of knew law enforcement and fire science would be popular programs, but this just reinforced what we were already seeing and what we were hearing. It gives us a little hard data to go by," McCamish said.

The survey is being conducted in collaboration with the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce.

"This information is valuable not only to DeKalb Technical College but the Chamber, Newton County and its five municipalities," said Lisa Oglesby, director of programs for the Chamber.

The survey is anonymous and does not require participants to give their names or any other identifying information, McCamish said.

To participate, go to www.dekalbtech.edu and click on Community Needs Survey. The next page will explain the survey and give a password that must be entered to begin. The deadline to complete the survey is March 31.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.