Short-term Training for a Post-Pandemic Economy

Numbers High for Those Wanting to Retrain and Reskill in Marin

NOVATO / KENTFIELD—April 29, 2021—In Marin the desire to retrain and upskill for in-demand careers is high. To help community members prepare for a post-pandemic economy and get back to work, College of Marin (COM) created new short-term, accelerated skills certificates that lead to pandemic-resilient jobs and pay at least a living wage in Marin. 

COM’s Career Education administrators set a goal of enrolling 210 students in the nine online trainings that began on March 1 and run through May 28. To date, there are 241 students enrolled.

This summer COM will offer the Social Media Marketing and E-Commerce Specialist skills certificate. Short-term skills certificates offered in fall 2021 include Business Office Technology Specialist, Data Specialist, Small Business Management Specialist, Social Media Marketing and E-Commerce Specialist, as well as a certificate in Gig Economy/Entrepreneurship. Enrollment is open now for both summer and fall semesters.

“We honestly did not know the level of interest when we rolled out these trainings,” said Katheryn Horton, COM’s director of workforce programs. “We now realize the desire by Marin residents for new skill development packaged in a short-term format and are ready to offer them again.”

To create these certificates, the college analyzed the current labor market, met with several local business and industry partners, and researched the needs of local community-based organizations that work with businesses and unemployed or under-employed clients in Marin. After identifying the skills needed for current jobs, COM faculty stepped in to design a customized bundling of courses that could be accelerated and meet the needs of employers. 

With an eye on the ultimate goal of these trainings—helping community members obtain living wage jobs—COM is partnering with the Workforce Alliance of the North Bay and CareerPoint Marin to assist students with job placement after training. Students in these short-term training programs can also attend workshops in resume writing and portfolio development and participate in a virtual job fair.

According to a March 2021 labor market report from the Employment Development Department (EDD), the unemployment rate in Marin is slowly declining since the onset of COVID, but there remain 8,500 job losses since March 2020.  A growing number of laid-off workers across the U.S. in these hard-hit industries are switching to new careers or occupations. Many are transitioning to sectors that have thrived during the pandemic, such as technology, health care, real estate, banking, and warehousing and delivery. 
More information on the short-term trainings is at