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    Jun 18, 2024  
2023-24 RACC Student Catalog 
2023-24 RACC Student Catalog

Workforce and Economic Development/Community Education


The Workforce and Economic Development/Community Education Division is a major and unique part of the offerings of Reading Area Community College. The College’s Workforce and Economic Development/Community Education Division is committed to providing opportunities for adults to gain new knowledge and skills through formal and informal study. Workforce and Economic Development/Community Education registers approximately 10,000 area adults into classes annually. The Workforce and Economic Development/Community Education Division of Reading Area Community College is committed to:

  • Providing education and training to meet job requirements and to facilitate advancement in certain occupations and professions
  • Providing training for displaced workers
  • Providing customized training programs for local business and industry
  • Providing basic education programs in Adult Basic Education (ABE), English as a Second Language (ESL) and General Education Development (GED)
  • Providing distance learning for personal interest and professional development
Continuing Education Units

Continuing Education Units (C.E.U.’s) are available for participating in Workforce and Economic Development/Community Education programs. C.E.U.’s are based on a standard of one unit per ten hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience. Upon successful completion of a course, each participant is presented with a certificate recognizing their accomplishment.

The C.E.U. is a nationally recognized unit of measure used to accumulate a standardized, permanent record of participation in credit-free continuing education programs conducted under responsible sponsorship, capable direction and qualified instruction.

Conferences, Seminars and Workshops

Workforce and Economic Development/Community Education offers regularly scheduled conferences, seminars, and workshops for professional gain or personal development. Our professional staff will work with you in designing conferences, seminars or workshops to meet your organization’s needs.


Workforce and Economic Development/Community Education also offers business, manufacturing technology, information technology, health care, public service, technical and vocational courses to prepare workers for changing occupational demands. As an option, customized programs may be held at your workplace - on company time or after working hours.

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Occupational Programs

Career Preparation

Career Preparation provides non-credit certificate training. These medical and business programs are designed to prepare adults for entry or re-entry into the job market.

Certificate programs offered through the Career Preparation program are: NA (Nurse Aide), Home Health Aide, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy, Medical Insurance & Billing Specialist, Medical Assisting, Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) Certification Course and Exam, and Computer Applications.

Students must have their high school diploma or GED prior to admission. (The Nurse Aide Program does not require a GED or high school diploma prior to admission.) Students will be required to verify previous college coursework completed with an average of “C” or above or take a reading assessment test. Select programs require submission of PA Criminal History Report Information, a completed physical form and/or proof of valid health insurance. A criminal background check free of prohibited offenses is required to attend programs with internships.

Funding for the training may be available to individuals meeting the requirements established by the Berks County Career Link, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation or through the Berks County Assistance Office. Additionally, prospective students may apply for federal and state grants and for loans.  Additional Scholarships may be available.  Please call 610-375-8188 for more information.

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Literacy Programs

Adult Basic Education (A.B.E.) Program

Adult Basic Education classes offer basic reading and math instruction to adults functioning from a second grade level to those reading on an eighth-grade level. All materials used in these classes are adult-oriented and address pertinent daily skills. Classes are free.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (E.S.L.) Program

The English for Speakers of Other Languages program offers speaking, reading and writing skills to non-English speaking adults. Classes are offered at intermediate and advanced levels. Classes are free.

General Educational Development (GED©) Preparation Program

The GED© Preparation Program offers instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, social studies and science to prepare adults, as well as eligible 16 and 17 year old youth, to sit for the General Educational Development Test. Classes are free. Day and evening classes are available.

“GED is a registered trademark of the American Council on Education and may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the American Council on Education.”

General Educational Development Test (GED©)

The GED© test is administered at Reading Area Community College through Pearson Vue testing. Pennsylvania residents (adults 18 years and older, as well as 16- and 17- year-old participants meeting specific qualifications) are eligible to take the computerized exam. All registrations, testing times, locations and payment with credit card are completed at the website Payment is required at the time of registration.

To earn a GED©, candidates must demonstrate a specific level of competency in the following four content areas:

  • Reasoning Through Language Arts
  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Everyone who successfully meets the scoring requirements established by the state of Pennsylvania will receive a High School Equivalency Diploma from the Department of Education. This diploma is accepted, by law, as a legitimate high school diploma by business, industry, colleges, and most branches of the armed services.

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Health Care

Courses, workshops and seminars are provided to meet the educational needs of the health care community. Programs deal with such topics as current trends and issues, technological advances, clinical updates, federal and state regulations, safety issues, legal issues and ethical issues. Programs vary and are provided for any individual employed in health care. Seminars are available on both a regular basis and as customized training for any organization upon request.

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Auctioneering Certification Program

In order to sit for the PA State Auctioneer Licensing Examination, an individual must either serve as a licensed auctioneer apprentice or successfully complete an approved course of study. In January 1991, the “Auctioneering Certification Program” was confirmed by the Pennsylvania Auction Board as a course of study.

This program has been designed to provide in-depth knowledge of the techniques, procedures and principles of communication, appraisal, management, marketing and law necessary to pass the licensing exam.

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Business and Industry Programs

Schmidt Training and Technology Center

The Schmidt Training and Technology Center at Reading Area Community College is dedicated to providing a continuum of learning in advanced manufacturing skills, information technology (IT), market knowledge, executive senior leadership, business performance and workforce readiness that meets the demands of the local and regional labor market. Manufacturing, IT and business professionals provide training using a hands-on learning approach.

The staff of Schmidt Training and Technology Center understands employers’ technology challenges, operating systems and business performance objectives. We understand that business and industry growth is increasingly centered on new IT applications in addition to advanced technical innovation. We know that successful employers must find new ways to produce and deliver products and services to customers who will purchase these goods at prices that will provide profit. The offerings of the Schmidt Training and Technology Center provide customized senior leadership and employee training that adjusts to the unique and changing needs of business and industry employers.

Business Solutions

Training helps senior executives and managers establish the critical links between their people, customers and business profitability to realize and capitalize on the untapped potential within their organization.

Workforce Development

Workforce training is designed to prepare entry-level and front-line employees to integrate into the business culture. This coursework will also prepare unemployed and underemployed citizens to gain the necessary skills for better paying jobs. Topics include work ethics, supervision, communications, teamwork, refresher math, workplace math and computer applications.

Manufacturing Technology

Manufacturing Technology training provides knowledge and skills for dislocated workers who desire better-paying jobs in manufacturing and for local industry (incumbent workers) seeking to increase productivity, efficiencies, employee retention and growth. This includes technical knowledge and skills in industrial mechanics, industrial electricity, industrial electronics, automated manufacturing, mechatronics, machine equipment operator, CNC machine operator and machine tool technology.

Reading Area Community College is a regional Advanced Manufacturing/Integrated Systems Technology partner providing industrial maintenance and mechatronics training.

Information Technology

Information Technology training provides knowledge and skills for dislocated workers and local industry (incumbent workers) who desire to gain current information technology knowledge, skills and certifications. We develop IT skill sets that will enable employers to creatively sustain competitiveness and provide better customer service.

In the IT hardware realm, our IT Essentials and Cisco Networking Academy training prepares individuals to sit for industry-recognized certifications such as A+, CCENT, CCNA, Cisco Security.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Training Program

This 180-hour program is designed to prepare participants to work in this field and to sit for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) certification exam. The curriculum was developed by the DEP.

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Courses Offered by RACC’s Workforce and Economic Development/Community Education Division

Senior Leadership & Workforce Development

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving Development
Executive Coaching - Leadership
Lean Thinking
Process Improvement
Project Management
Tools for Profit™
Total Predictive Maintenance (TPM)

Manufacturing Technology

Technical Specialty Modules

AC/DC Electrical Controls
Blueprint Reading
CNC Machine Operator
Computer Control Technology
Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Electrical Control Wiring Systems
Electrical Motors
Electronic AC & DC Drives
Industrial Programmable Logic Controls (PLC) Allen Bradley & Siemens (Basic & Advanced)
Industrial Mechanical Systems
Industrial Electrical Systems
Machine Equipment Operator
Machine Tool Technology
Manufacturing Process
Mechanical Drives
Motion Control
Power Distribution Systems
Process Controls
Quality Assurance
Robotics and Computer Programs
Safety and OSHA
Thermal Process Controls
Troubleshooting Industrial Control Systems
Troubleshooting Practices
Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator

Information Technology


CompTIA A+ Essentials
CompTIA A+ Practical Application
Cisco Certified Entry-Level Network Technician (CCENT)
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
Cisco Security

Workplace Readiness

Communication Skills/Personal Effectiveness
Computer Concepts, Applications & Skills
Personal Effectiveness/Team Approach
Refresher Math
Workplace Mathematics

Workplace Literacy

Communication Skills
Literacy (ESL/GED)
Math Skills
Spanish in the Workplace

Health Care

Basic Physical Assessment Course
Clinical Updates
Interpersonal Skills
Intravenous Therapy
Management Skills
Trends & Issues in Health Care
Wellness Programs

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Please note: Written refund requests must be received one week before classes begin. No refunds will be issued after this date.