AB Tech catalogs go to everyone? AVL’s poor cell service?

Today’s batch of burning questions, my smart answers, and the real deal:

Question: I recently received the latest copy of course offerings at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. These come to me in the mail, showing all course offerings for the upcoming term. All my neighbors also receive copies. To my knowledge, none of us are taking any classes there. These booklets, which are quite thick, must represent a fairly large expense. How much does it cost the college to produce these catalogs? How many are produced when they mail them? Isn’t there another way that would save money and be a bit more selective about who gets the catalogs?

My answer: I recommend Ronco’s “Canon Catalog”. Hire college students to walk around pulling these babies onto people’s porches. Give them class credit for the experience… and a line of credit for fixing broken windows.

True answer: AB Tech spokeswoman Kerri Glover took care of it.

“We send three continuing education programs a year to every household in Buncombe and Madison counties — approximately 150,000 households, although the number varies each time — at a total cost of $109,173,” Glover said per E-mail.

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The publication is the primary source of enrollment for the college. It “advertises nearly 2,000 courses, ranging from workforce certifications in various industries to courses such as motorcycle safety, computer training and art,” Glover noted.

The college has a good reason for using an actual printed catalog.

“We also advertise it on our website and social media, but its strictly online promotion doesn’t reach many older people or people who don’t have internet access – which is a big factor in the county. of Madison and rural parts of Buncombe,” Glover said.

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Many people take courses at AB Tech.

“We have up to 15,000 people a year taking a wide variety of courses – nearly 2,000 were offered last year,” Glover said. “We advertise them in a number of ways, but as of today, that’s how most people find them.”

Catalogs are expensive, but it’s an overall profitable strategy.

“We also work with the Postal Service to determine the most cost-effective mailing,” Glover said. “In fact, it costs a lot more to email targeted lists than it does to email households using the ‘residential customer’ designation.”

Glover also noted that recipients can ask the Postal Service not to deliver mail not specifically addressed to them.

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“And I’ll add that we tried other ways to promote continuing education courses and target mailings, but it was too expensive or didn’t reach most of our regular constituents,” Glover said.

She also added that the catalogs are printed on recycled paper.

Cell phone reception at Asheville Regional Airport can be a bit spotty at times.

Question: We just went to Asheville Regional Airport to pick someone up, and the cell phone reception is terrible. Luckily, I was within range of the airport Wi-Fi, but hey, no cell reception at an airport?

My answer: That’s why I always carry a huge car-mounted megaphone with me when I pick up someone. Who doesn’t love being the center of attention at the airport?

True answer: Apparently that’s a problem.

“It is true that there are areas at the airport where some (not all) cell phone carrier signals are weak,” airport spokeswoman Tina Kinsey said by email. . “While we continually advocate for additional signal boosters to be installed in the area by major cellular service providers, the airport does not control these decisions.”

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This is where Wi-Fi comes into play.

“To address this issue, the airport is providing free Wi-Fi and we will continue to advocate for better coverage in the area,” Kinsey said.

This is the opinion of John Boyle. To submit a question, contact him at 232-5847 or jboyle@citizen-times.com