Tolles offers new adult education classes this summer

(Posted May 25, 2023)

Adults and recent high school graduates looking to change or explore new career paths, learn highly marketable skills, and potentially make more money as a result, have plenty of options this summer with a new series of classes offered at Tolles Career and Technical Center in Plain City.

Six different classes begin in June and last between one and three weeks apiece. Each class provides adult students with an easy way to gain basic skills and industry knowledge and become employment-ready in some of the most high-demand fields in central Ohio. They classes are:

• Intro to Construction, including the basics of plumbing, electrical, and HVAC;
• Automation, such as operating industrial robots, with manufacturing implications;
• Automotive maintenance and light repair;
• Manual arc welding and shielded metal arc welding using electrode rods;
• Welding using metal inert gas (MIG); and
• Welding using tungsten inert gas (TIG).

Young adults who have finished high school and aren’t certain what they want to do next are encouraged to enroll in one or more courses.

“If they don’t have a solid plan of what’s next, if they’re not sure they want to go to college, this gives them the opportunity–in just a matter of a couple weeks–to learn more about some of these careers,” says Kevin Prenger, director of adult education at Tolles.

“They can see what a construction career would look like, what’s involved with automation manufacturing. These are introductory, exploratory classes.”

Each class carries a tuition fee, but class sizes are kept intentionally small to ensure all students get the best possible experience.

“For anyone looking for classes that will get them skilled and employed in the shortest time possible, this is the answer,” Prenger says. “We have lots of employer partners, so the hope is there would be an employment component at the end of it–even if it’s just a conversation or a potential interview on the spot with a company that has job opportunities.”

Tolles also offers eight longer-term, more intensive adult training programs at various times throughout the year.

“These programs are industry-led,” Prenger says. “We don’t just sit in a silo and say, ‘Here’s what we’re going to offer.’ We have hours and hours and hours of conversations with companies about what skills they need. That adds the value; we’re teaching exactly what companies are looking for.”

With the current shortage of workers in construction and health care, as well as anticipated workforce needs to come with Intel and Google opening large facilities in central Ohio, Tolles has designed its programs to stay ahead of the curve.

“We’re investing in the future here,” Prenger says.

Adult training programs, all of which can be completed in less than a year, are available in:

• Healthcare, specifically leading to a State Tested Nurse Aide (STNA) certification;

• Public safety, either as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or two different levels of firefighting;

• Manufacturing, including four separate certification programs in which robotics and/or maintenance are the primary focus; and

• Welding, specifically using the metal arc technique.

“Most of these courses are short-term investments and are very cost effective–much less expensive than a college or even a community college degree,” Prenger says.
Part of that cost effectiveness comes from the length of Tolles’ training programs.

“Our programs are shorter than most training centers,” Prenger says. “380 hours is our longest program, and we only do Monday through Thursday courses. For adults that work full time, going to classes four nights a week is a very different commitment than five nights a week.”

For more details about the summer exploratory classes or the more in-depth adult training programs at Tolles, visit or call (614) 873-4666.

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