MoHealthWINs Programs for Healthcare in High Gear at MAC
(PARK HILLS) –Students are saying they’ve been impressed with the caliber of instruction in Mineral Area College’s Missouri Healthcare Workforce Innovation Networks (MoHealthWINs), grant-funded programs. Many have expressed optimism about their employment opportunities in the future.
Mineral Area College is among the 13 colleges in the state of Missouri awarded federal funds from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grants Program. The federal awarding agency is the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The new programs, both Pharmacy Technician and Maintenance Technician in a Healthcare Setting, have been identified by the U.S. Dept. of Labor as fast-growing fields, and are geared to local unemployed, underemployed, low-skilled individuals, veterans and those people who have lost their jobs as a result of their jobs moving overseas.
Both programs started in October, with 10 students in Pharm Tech, and seven students in Maintenance Tech.
The new Maintenance Tech program offers training to both degree-seeking students (Associate in Applied Science in Industrial Maintenance) and students seeking a certificate only in the industrial maintenance field. The program is offered in the North College Center, Monday through Friday, and provides hands-on skills training and e-learning opportunities in electrical, rotating machines, process control, fluid power and mechanical drives. An HVAC 16-week certificate program starts Feb.4.
“I can’t explain it…Some of the stuff I knew already, but now I know the theory behind why things work the way they do. I’ve learned a lot more than I imagined I would,” said Tanner Serini of Leadwood, who’s in the program preparing him for maintenance in a healthcare setting.
“I hadn’t been in a class like this for ages,” he said. “In high school, I’d been on track for A+ (the state scholarship program), but I missed a lot of school due to a car accident, and had to drop out of the program. I appreciate that I get this new chance to go to college.”
On one recent Thursday afternoon, Serini was working on a mechanical exercise with fellow student John Golden of Ironton, to see the correlation between two different cylinders. Golden works for Golden T Construction, and he’s interested in taking the stackable credentials— segments which, when completed, lead to increasingly higher certification status.
“I was told I should get the credentials so I don’t get lost. It’s one thing to say you know how to do something,” Golden said. “But it’s another to have a piece of paper that proves you have these skills, you’re not just saying it.”
Both men, and several other students in the program, said they were impressed by the program’s instructor, Jacob Blackwell. Electrician Sam Hughes of Valles Mines was one of them.
“He’s a very good teacher, he really knows his material,” Hughes said. “He’s willing to take the time to help us. It’s evident he really likes his work, and that makes it interesting to me, too.”
Hughes said he plans to take the program as far as he can. “This is my first college experience, and when I look at Mr. Blackwell’s level of knowledge, it’s easy to think, ‘I’ll never get there.’ But on the flip side, I know that I can, if I apply myself.”
Students in the second MoHealthWINs grant health care program, the Pharmacy Technician program, started their 12-week program in early October, as well.
The program is designed for students who want an entry level position in a pharmacy, and who want to prepare for the National Certification exam offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. The lab training and classroom study take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the Continuing Education Building on the college’s Park Hills campus. In addition each student completes an eight hour weekly clinical in a local hospital or retail pharmacy setting.
Mike Ramsey, of Farmington, is one of the pharmacy students.
“Back when I was a kid, I worked for Medicate Pharmacy, stacking inventory, making deliveries. It was really interesting, getting in the community, meeting new people and helping them out,” he said. “I only have 10 years before I retire, and I want to enjoy my work.”
Another student, Cassidy Russett of Farmington, was drawn to PharmTech because she found out how fast-growing the pharmacy industry is right now. “I’m doing it for my daughter Zoey, first,” she said. Also, I did some research, and pharmacy tech is a really hot job right now.”
She said she’s been impressed by instructor Jennifer Majeske’s training. “The material is very understandable…Mrs. Majeske is very knowledgeable and is a nationally-certified pharmacy tech herself, so she stays up-to-date on everything,” Russett said.
Becky Schimweg of Farmington said she appreciates the hands-on nature of the training. “The instructor provides us with great information which we can also get in the book, and the coursework and labs let us practice what we study,” she said. “I think it’s great that we have rotating clinical, which allow us to work in the different areas of the pharmacy to gain experience.”
Rudy Rudroff, head pharmacist at Farmington Walgreens, agrees. “We’ve had three students from the pharmacy technician class,” he said. “So far, they have represented the program well. I’ve seen much enthusiasm, interest, and cooperativeness.”
Current health care employer partners for both programs include Walgreens, Mineral Area Regional Medical Center, Parkland Health Center, Pharmax Pharmacy, USA Drug and Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy, Southeast Missouri Behavioral Health, Madison Medical Center, Perry County Memorial Hospital, St. Joe Manor, Washington County Memorial Hospital and Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital.
To determine if an interested student meets the MoHealthWINs grant eligibility requirements, call Alison Sheets, MOHealthWINs Program Support Specialist at Mineral Area College. Applications for the health service programs are available at www.MineralArea.edu or call (573) 518-3820.
Interested participants may also apply at the Park Hills Career Center, located on Parkway Drive in Park Hills; Supportive services may also be available to qualified applicants. Call the Career Center at (573) 518-2431.
This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The solution was created by the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership.
Health care Employer Partners: Mineral Area Regional Medical Center, Madison Medical Center, Perry County Community Hospital, Parkland Health Center, Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy, Pharmax Pharmacy, Southeast Missouri Behavioral Health, Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital, St. Joe Manor USA Drug and Walgreens
Through the MoHealthWINs
awarded grant funds, the
Department of Labor will be
offering tuition assistance for TAA
individuals who have lost their
job as a result of their job moving
overseas (foreign trade), qualified
veterans and their spouses,
and workers wanting to increase
their skill level. Lab and book fees will not be
covered by the MoHealthWINs
grant. However, additional
financial assistance may be
offered to eligible students
through the Missouri Career
Center in Park Hills.