ANN ARBOR—Washtenaw Community College, Michigan Works! Southeast and employer partners Vibrant Life Senior Living, Homewatch CareGivers and Interim Healthcare are partnering to train and immediately place health care workers in a new four-week program.
Prospective workers for the first cohort are invited to an online recruitment and information session on Monday, June 14. The 40-hour, four-week pilot program, “Foundations of Caring Bootcamp,” is expected to begin at the end of June.
The new program cultivates talent to meet the needs of the growing long-term care industry and to provide an expedited on-ramp to opportunity and employment among first-job seekers, recently unemployed or those seeking a career change to an in-demand occupation.
The first two-week period includes 40 hours of virtual classroom delivery from 6-10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, including one day at the WCC campus, and job interviews. Upon successful completion of remote learning, participants will receive paid on-the-job training with of a starting wage of $12 per hour.
Workers will be placed at Vibrant Life, Interim Healthcare or Homewatch CareGivers, all health care providers in the Washtenaw County area, and are expected to be permanently placed in their jobs full-time following successful completion of the bootcamp.
“Preparing students for the workforce is one of our core tenets. Employer demand is driving this new program, and it is especially important now as we come out of the pandemic and the need for caregivers is great in our community,” said Washtenaw Community College President Rose Bellanca.
Workers will learn entry-level patient care skills from WCC Department of Health Sciences faculty members, earn a CPR certificate and be well positioned to return for additional certificates or an associate degree for career advancement in a growing industry.
“This is an awesome opportunity for anyone looking to start their career in a high-demand industry,” said Shamar Herron, executive director of Michigan Works! Southeast. “Thanks to our partnership with WCC, Michigan Works! Southeast can help job seekers take full advantage of this program.”
During the June 14 recruiting event, WCC and Michigan Works! representatives, as well as employers from the participating health care providers, will answer questions about the bootcamp and screen prospective students for employment eligibility.
“We have always been challenged in Michigan with attracting enough talent to care for our seniors. We as small business employers realized soon after the initial effects of the pandemic that many employees were not returning for a variety of reasons,” said Breanne K. Stuart, president and CEO of Homewatch CareGivers of Ann Arbor/Huron Valley. “By working with WCC and Michigan Works!, our goal is to create a pipeline of qualified employees to help fill the overwhelming need for care.”
Participants in the Foundations of Caring Bootcamp must:
- Be a United States citizen.
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have obtained a high school diploma or GED.
- Be able to pass a background check.
- Have access to a computer that is compatible with online learning, as well as internet access.
The State of Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) will provide the online platform, Brazen, for the June 14 recruitment and information event.
“We recognized an innovative approach, such as virtual job fairs, would be needed to connect employers and job seekers safely and professionally during the pandemic. We’re pleased employers and job seekers throughout the state have embraced and benefitted from the virtual platform we’ve been able to provide,” said Deborah Lyzenga, Sector Strategies Administrative Manager, LEO Office of Employment and Training.