By Melissa Kacar and Nicole Shmidt
Northampton Community College expanded their presence in the Lehigh Valley by opening a new campus in Easton earlier this year.
The NCC Easton Educational Outreach Center offers targeted job training, entry-level and non-credit certificate courses at their campus.
Computer classes, CPR, nurse aide, home health aide, first aid, cooking, hospitality and manufacturing are amongst the courses currently offered.
Youth programming and summer camp programs are also available. In the Spring 2019 semester, they will be offering credit classes, as well.
“This is a significant milestone in the life of the college,” said Mark Erickson, Northampton Community College’s President, in a news release. “When the needs of the community change, we change to meet those needs.”
Located in downtown Easton, down the street from the very first NCC campus which opened in 1966 in what is now the National Bank Building.
“Easton has a rich history and has served as a center for industry, manufacturing, commerce and culture for years. We’re excited to be a part of that.” said Erickson at the official ribbon cutting ceremony in May.
This location is only temporary, however. Within the next two to three years the Pine Street Parking Garage, which is located directly above the former police station, will need to be replaced.
It is unclear as to where The Center will relocate to in the future. NCC is using this time to “test the waters” by measuring their presence and demand for the area.
The Easton center has already served approximately 130 people and have been experiencing continual growth over the past few months.
To get the word out, they have been connecting with key leaders in the Easton community.
NCC has also been working with LANTA Bus for a campaign featuring large portraits of seven actual students from the college dressed in the attire of the occupation they plan on pursuing in the future.
Erickson said, “It shows off our students, but also the importance of choosing a career path.” Students majoring in nursing, architecture, technology, auto technology, teaching, welding, and criminal justice are among the featured career paths.
“Great things lie ahead for Easton and the college,” Erickson said.
The Fowler Center, located in Southside Bethlehem, offers similar courses to the new Easton center.
They currently offer noncredit classes including programs in adult literacy, public safety workforce training, dance studios, a theatre-style demonstration kitchen, and a 3D fabrication studio called the Fab Lab.
The Fab Lab promotes creativity and entrepreneurialism by offering open access to state-of-the-art technologies such as; 3D printers, laser cutters, guitar-making and repair studio, and a full metal and woodshop.
Erickson said, “We are always figuring out ways to serve the community…we are a college of the community.”