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pharmacy technician, business administration, accounting and paralegal. “We have both diploma and degree options,” says Steele. The diploma offers the quickest route into the chosen field and is about four months shorter than the degree path. The most popular courses are in the healthcare arena, he says. “The medical assistant program makes up 35 percent of the student body. Many are drawn to healthcare industry because it’s consistently sustainable through any economy and there’s a good chance of placement.” Placement is key for IBMC adds Laub. “We spend a lot of money on job placement and we’re staffed heavily in that area. We do direct mail to general leads on job planning and we have a strong network. We’ve been doing this now for 20 years and there’s a good chance an office manager is an IBMC graduate and will call us for staffing. We also pay referral bonuses. We work it very, very hard.” As a result of all that hard work, IBMC has a 90 percent placement rate. “That’s off the chart,” Laub says. “You want to hit 100 percent, but that’s impossible. There are people who take time off after they finish and some people just vanish. So 90 percent is as good as anyone can do. Last year, we hit 91 percent and I about fell off my chair.” Externships play a huge role in placement, he says. “The last three weeks of the program is on-the-job. We have agreements with doctors and attorneys and, for three weeks, they get a trained employee for free. It’s a good try-before-you-buy situation. We have a 50 percent placement rate just off the externships.” IBMC student body has grown almost four times over since 2001, when enrollment was at 218. They currently have 829 students and 185 employees spread between three locations – Fort Collins, Greeley and Cheyenne. IBMC will open a Longmont location this year with classes beginning in the fall. The student age range runs from 18 to 60-plus years, Steele says. “Some are directly out of high school but don’t want the university setting and others are here changing careers.” “This isn’t just a business,” Steele says. “This is about people. People’s lives are important to us and we care about where they are going and what their dreams are. If they commit, then we’re going to partner with them.”

Palmer School of Floral Design

Angela Palmer’s Palmer School of Floral Design isn’t just designed to keep industry professionals up to date; the school offers several levels of training for those who want to get into the business. The school is recognized as a career path and the Larimer County Workforce Center will help with tuition for students who are in transition. Students have several options. They can take the four courses separately or as part of the certification program. Beginning Floral Design 101 is a 25-hour course that prepares the learner to create arrangements. Basic Floral Design 102 looks at celebration designs, wreaths, swags, wedding bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres. Basic Floral Design 103 includes oriental and traditional designs, and Advance Floral Design 104 includes high style designs. Classes cover the elements of design and design principles. The certification program requires a total of 100 hours (25 per class) and rigorous testing. A written exam and the completion of a project that shows competency in areas of purchasing, marketing and design are required. The Palmer School is only one of three in Colorado; the others are in Denver. The certification program is required for


Lydia’s STYLE Magazine

2010-04 Lydia's Style Magazine  
2010-04 Lydia's Style Magazine  

April - Northern Colorado Economy A powerful issue with an article focus on Northern Colorado’s business, building, economy, lifestyle an...