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Sullivan Works Career Center hosted its first graduation for 15 participants in “Jobs Waiting,” a federally-funded job training program that aims to retrain the workforce for thousands of unfilled jobs in healthcare in the Hudson Valley.
Program graduates completed a five-week rigorous career training “boot camp,” during which they received ongoing mentoring and career coaching, set up LinkedIn profiles, and polished their resumes and networking and interviewing skills.
Certificates of achievement were presented at a June 8th ceremony in Monticello, at the Sullivan County BOCES Career and Technical Education Center.
Patty Ferracane, 54, was the first to become employed. She’s starting work as a dispatcher for Go Green Express in Newburgh, a position she will work in while going back to school to complete an Associate’s Degree in Human Resources Management. Ferracane was unemployed for nearly a year when she heard about Jobs Waiting, which she says opened her eyes to the array of careers in healthcare, and gave her the confidence to re-enter the workforce.
“This program taught me not to give up, which I nearly did after being home for so long and not hearing from employers or getting any interviews,” said Ferracane. “When you are unemployed, you start to doubt yourself. Jobs Waiting helped me to realize I have a lot to offer. I now have a career coach, contacts to employers, and a whole group support system to keep me going.”
Several group participants are now entering an array of industry training programs, such as medical and dental assistant, surgical tech, medical coding and billing, nursing, and human resources management.
Others, like Ferracane, are either beginning employment or actively interviewing. They all have financial incentives to offer employers who are interested in hiring them, including funds for “work tryouts,” and on-the-job training.
To date, nearly 410 have completed boot camp training in the Hudson Valley and 162 have been placed into jobs. The program is funded by a US Department of Labor Ready to Work grant, and is run by the Westchester Putnam Workforce Development Board, in partnership with the Westchester County Association and career centers throughout the Hudson Valley.