Washtenaw Community College (WCC)
has partnered with several organizations to create a free four-week program that will train and immediately provide job placements for new health care workers.
WCC, Michigan Works! Southeast
, Vibrant Life Senior Living
, Homewatch CareGivers
and Interim Healthcare
collaborated on the Foundations of Caring Bootcamp
, a 40-hour program slated to start at the end of June. According to Brandon Tucker, associate vice president of workforce and community development at WCC, there are approximately 140-160 long-term health care-related job openings in the Ann Arbor region. The new program addresses the industry's talent pipeline needs while providing an accelerated path to employment that is completely free of charge.
It's open to United States citizens who are at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. Other requirements include being able to pass a basic background check, access to internet service and a computer for online classes, and valid identification.
"This [program] is perfect for people who care about our aging population and want to help them age gracefully," Tucker says. "If you care about people, don't worry about having no prior experience. We'll teach you the basics."
The first two weeks of the bootcamp will consist of virtual classes held from 6-10 p.m. on weekdays (including one day in person at WCC), as well as job interviews with Vibrant Life Senior Living, Homewatch CareGivers, and Interim Healthcare. Entry-level skills, such as patient care, CPR, and soft skills, will be taught. In the next stage, participants will receive paid on-the-job training, starting at $12 per hour.
Tucker says organizers are planning to enroll 20 participants in the first cohort and they expect to expand the program in the future. They're also already considering establishing another track of the program that will help successful participants gain the skills they need to transition to supervisor jobs.
"This program is firmly rooted in employer engagement and demand, and anyone who takes the training is going to be set up for a good career that has advancement opportunities," Tucker says. "People who go through this program just won't be successful. They will be an asset to the industry."
Jaishree Drepaul-Bruder is a freelance writer and editor currently based in Ann Arbor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of WCC.