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Technical school to open in Chambersburg

March 14, 2000|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Classes start next month at a new technical school setting up operations at Norland Shopping Center.

Thompson Institute will begin offering classes in medical assisting, medical billing, computer specialist courses and office systems technology in late April, according to Barb Rose of Panoramic Visions, a Camp Hill, Pa., marketing firm representing the for-profit institute.

The parent company, Thompson Learning Corp., has campus sites in Harrisburg, Pa., and Philadelphia.

"They currently have lots of residents from Franklin County that are attending the Harrisburg (Pa.) school," Rose said. The campus will provide a more convenient location for those students, she said.

"Our research has shown that there is a need for quality, high-skill education in Chambersburg and the surrounding areas. With the increasing need for technical skills by so many employers, our number of applicants continues to grow," Thompson Institute Vice President for Operations Dom Montalvo said in a press release.

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Established in 1918, Thompson Institute has more than 1,000 full-time students and 58 instructors, according to the press release.

Rose said the storefront campus at the Norland Shopping Center has been remodeled and will accommodate about 100 students when classes begin in late April.

Rose said Thompson Institute offers "externships" with area companies, job placement assistance, small class sizes and convenient classroom schedules.

Rose said federal and state financial assistance is available, as well as financial assistance through the institute. Students will receive diplomas upon successfully completing the eight-month courses offered in the four initial programs.

The institute concentrates on medical technology and office skills training because "everyone needs someone to work on a computer," Rose said. Hospitals and nursing homes are among the businesses in need of those skills.

Work force development has been a focus of area economic development officials in recent years. Satellite classrooms of the Penn State Mont Alto Campus at Chambersburg Mall and a printing technology school at the Franklin County Career and Technology Center are among the facilities established in the past two years to address the labor needs of local industries.

For information about Thompson Institute class schedules and costs, call 1-888-LEARN-45 or see the organization's Web site at www.thompsoninstitute.org.

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