Latham Life (January 16, 2010) - Knowledge Network offers training, fun
COLONIE — If you've ever had the desire to learn the bagpipes, brush up your culinary skills, improve your public speaking performance, or train for a new career in fields that range from real estate to web design to bartending, The Knowledge Network is a veritable gold mine of these and other affordable courses, ranging from the amazingly useful to the oddly obscure.
If you're looking to change jobs, but the time and money it takes to earn a degree at a two- or four-year school seems daunting, few of The Knowledge Network's career-oriented courses take more than three to four weeks to complete, and rarely will the combined course and material fees cost more $500.
Should you wish to take a simple just-for-fun and/or personal enrichment course via The Knowledge Network -- including classes in tarot, various types of dance, organizing paperwork, and more -- these types of classes will generally run $50 and under.
Ronna Shanagher, current owner and Executive Director of The Knowledge Network, is excited about her new commercial venture. Having just recently purchased the Network in April of 2009, Shanagher, a longtime entrepreneur, is looking forward to carrying on The Knowledge Network's proud tradition of nurturing and creating fellow creative minds in the local community.
"We've already added a few improvements, like two large-screen TV's with surround sound to the classrooms" says Shanagher, who adds: "We're also modernizing a bit, and adding more to the website. We're looking at adding a 'Learn To Earn' page [for careers] to the site in the future, as well as a 'Restaurant' page. You can do so much [with the Network]; you can take a defensive driving course, become a security guard, and even fly an airplane!"
A thirty-year-old community resource dedicated to both fun and learning in equal measure, The Knowledge Network is always adding to its eclectic repertoire of skill-building coursework. When asked which Knowledge Network courses are the most popular in this delightfully diverse repository of skill sets, Shanagher mentions the Network's NYS home inspector's course, the real estate licensing courses, and the dance classes as being consistent favorites with the public.
As for future courses that she plans to add in the coming months, Shanagher says "we'll be offering an indoor swimming course at the Jewish Community Center, and we'll be offering a skiing course in Schenectady soon, too, that should be lots of fun!"
A business that nurtures its instructors as well as its students, The Knowledge Network has historically been a boon to skilled and ambitious locals from all different walks of life. From students seeking to get a foot in the door of a new career path, to their instructors who are looking to promote their own brand and share their knowledge, the Network is something of a long-standing, grassroots economic stimulus plan for the community.
To illustrate, Greg Aidala, a stand-up comic (and Loudonville native) who has been a fixture on both the Capital District and NYC comedy circuits for nearly a decade, credits the Network greatly with some of his recent career advancements.
Says the comedian, "I started a [Knowledge Network] stand-up comedy workshop in 2008; when I had presented my idea to the owner in the fall of 2007, he liked it so much that he put me on the cover of their spring 2008 booklet. The workshops just skyrocketed from there; I've taught 80 students total since March of 2008, and six of my workshops have completely sold out!"
Aidala adds that "[The Network] really helped me promote my business -- I formed my own entertainment company in 2005 -- and they've just treated me great! Since I started the comedy workshops, I've met a lot of smart, funny people here in the Capital District that I never would have met otherwise."
So if you want to learn how to crack a joke, mix a drink, play the guitar, jazz up your golf game, or improve your sense of rhythm through dance, log onto their website and see what The Knowledge Network might have in store for you. It's a great way to make new friends, possibly burnish your resume, and have a lot of fun at the same time!