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CONSIDERING A CAREER CHANGE? READ THE TRUE STORIES BELOW AND LEARN HOW ADDITIONAL EDUCATION CHANGED THE LIFE OF THESE STUDENTS. YOUR STORY COULD BE NEXT!
Nurse Aide Graduate Honored by Goodwill For Service
Rodney made a major career change at age 52 from construction to health care. Read his success story. It may inspire you!
Photography classes help Roman Bladzik see new possibilities
I recently completed the Photography I, II, and Studio Photography classes offered at Tri-County Technical College. My instructor, Clark Webb, is not only a gifted instructor that made the courses interesting and fun, but also an extremely talented and successful photographer.
Before I started the photography classes, my photographs were your standard every day snapshots. I felt they were O.K., but nothing special or outstanding.
Using the techniques and skills I learned in these classes has made a huge difference in my photography skills. I didn’t realize just how much until a few weeks ago. I went to pick up my photographs from a local camera shop and the cashier checked my photographs before she rang up my order. Upon seeing my photographs, she said, "These are great! You must be a professional photographer." What a compliment, I thought! My wife, Sue, was standing next to me when it happened. I could see in her eyes that she thought, "Uh oh, I think he’s getting a ‘big head’!" Well … maybe just a little.
So, if you are interested in taking great photographs, I highly recommend Tri-County’s photography courses. You won’t be disappointed. I’m looking forward to taking the Black & White Photography classes next session.
Thank you Clark Webb and Tri-County Technical College!!!
Cat Davis Finds Her Niche in Landscape Design
It was the first trade show she had participated in since opening her own landscape design business last year, so Cat Davis was hoping for a possible honorable mention at the Anderson Home Show booth competition. Instead, she walked away with the first place prize (best in show) and several new customers who discovered her unique style of landscape design.
Business is steadily growing at CatScape, L.L.C., and Davis, a former chemist and quality control manager for local industry, has found her niche.
"I always wanted to own my own business, and I also wanted more time to spend with my family," said Davis, who resides in Anderson with her husband and two children. Now she has both, and coaches her kids’ soccer and basketball teams. "Being self-employed gives me flexibility I never had, " she said.
"I really believe in education," she said, and looked to Tri-County Technical College when contemplating a career change. "To do a good job, I needed professional training," said Davis, who holds a chemistry degree from Presbyterian College. "I felt I needed to know all I could about horticulture and landscaping so I entered Tri-County’s Horticulture and Landscape program and later the Turf Grass Management and Water Gardening classes. " She holds certificates in all three from the Corporate & Community Education Division.
"I had a really good position as a chemist in industry, but I really wanted my own business. It’s a mountain you have to jump off and I was willing to take the plunge," she explained.
"I’m very proud of her," said Larry Madden, of Pickens, who has been leading Tri-County’s Horticulture program for over a decade.
"Cat is very good at absorbing knowledge, and she caught on quickly. I try to keep up to date on new techniques. We start in the greenhouse and later propagate plants. The class finishes with drawing a landscape design to scale," said Madden, who also works as an independent horticulturist.
"The series of classes gives you exposure to each section of the business," said Davis.
"Each student determines which aspect he or she is interested in," said Madden. Her first job was for the Anderson Arts Center. "I put my sign up there after the job was completed, I joined the Anderson Chamber, and decided to participate in the Anderson Home Show," she said.
"My emphasis is on design," said Davis, who specializes in perennial beds, water gardens, butterfly gardens and allergen-free gardens. She employs a part-time assistant who handles invoices and types Davis’ design books.
When accepting a new project, Davis spends two to three hours measuring and additional time researching and selecting colors comparable with a client’s house. "Customers can buy my designs, they can do the installation themselves, or I can take on that responsibility. I also offer the service of picking up the plants for them," she explained.
She produces a comprehensive plan. "There’s a lot of preliminary work involved when starting a new project. I get to know my customers and tailor the yard to the individual homeowner. I design to fit their lifestyle; I want the yard to grow with their family," she said.
"Cat is good at reading people," said Madden. "She can go in and figure out what they can do on their budget."
"They can always buy my designs, and if they can’t afford the work now, they have a plan," she said. "A lot of my business is subcontracted by landscapers," added Davis, who has around 15 projects going at once.
"She can handle it," said Madden. "Every job Cat does is different. She doesn’t use the same plants over and over. Each job has its individual personality," he said.
"I love gardening and working outside. I like problem solving, and I’m analytical. In my new career, I’m still researching and problem solving. I use my chemistry degree when I landscape. I also love drawing so this new career just clicked for me."
"It’s common for his grads to open their own business after completing the certificate program," said Madden.
"I’ve set goals, and I’m ready to grow," said Davis.
"It shows I’ve done my job when they’re successful. I’m proud of her," said Madden.
Susan starts a new career as a Pharmacy Technician
"The knowledge that I gained from the Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program enabled me to start my new career before I even finished the course."
Susan is not the only student who secured a job before completing the program. Several of her classmates are now working at the following pharmacies: Oconee Memorial Hospital; AnMed Home Care and Retail; St. Frances, Greenville; Palmetto Health Baptist, Easley; Bi-Lo at Clemson and Bi-Lo at Anderson Mall Road; Pro-Care Easley; Professional, Anderson. The need for formally educated pharmacy technicians from approved programs continues to grow due to the "graying" of America and new South Carolina Board of Pharmacy regulations.
You are encouraged to register as soon as possible since some courses have enrollment limits.