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Westchester Program Trains Job Seekers For Healthcare Field

Tina Master found a job in the healthcare field through Jobs Waiting, a workforce re-training program led by Westchester County and the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board, and managed by the Westchester County Association.
Tina Master found a job in the healthcare field through Jobs Waiting, a workforce re-training program led by Westchester County and the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board, and managed by the Westchester County Association. Photo Credit: Contributed

YONKERS, N.Y. -- With over a decade of experience in engineering and technology jobs, an undergraduate degree in engineering, and master’s degrees in finance and library science, Tina Master had the background and experience many companies desire.

Yet she was having a difficult time finding a position for which she wasn’t overqualified and under-challenged. After working part-time and consulting while home with her children, she found herself losing confidence after being out of work for three years.

Now, after participating in a six-week regional job training program known as Jobs Waiting, Tina is employed as an information technology specialist at Cabrini Eldercare, with possibilities for growth and promotion ahead.

“I hadn’t thought about a career in healthcare, but I knew my skills could be a perfect fit,” says Master, on her decision to apply for the free program. “The Jobs Waiting program gave me my self-worth back, helped me perfect my ‘elevator pitch,’ and taught me how to prepare for a job interview. Most importantly, I had the chance to meet employers who were looking for candidates — one of whom ended up hiring me.”

Funded by a federal Ready to Work grant, Jobs Waiting is a workforce re-training program led by Westchester County and the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board, and managed by the Westchester County Association. Its goal is to provide 500 long-term unemployed individuals with job readiness skills as preparation for new careers in healthcare in the Hudson Valley, which currently has over 3,500 open positions in the healthcare sector. Jobs Waiting recruits participants for a six-week boot camp (the next session starts May 16 in Yonkers), which provides training, professional mentoring, and a personal job coach.

“We are so busy hiring, so this program is perfect for us. We’ve been very impressed with the candidates, who are professional and prepared,” says Simone Smith, director of human resources at Cabrini Eldercare.

Smith met Master at a Jobs Waiting boot camp ‘graduation,’ brought her in for interviews, and hired her for her new position. While many people think of the clinical side of healthcare, the sector also includes jobs in accounting, technology, medical coding and billing, and customer service, according to Smith, who has plans to interview additional program participants for open vacancies.

Jobs Waiting may be the answer for a range of job seekers, from those who lost their jobs during the Great Recession, or stayed home to raise children, to those who are looking to transition to new careers.

“This program provides an excellent low cost opportunity for healthcare businesses to hire candidates who are ready to work,” says Donnovan Beckford, director of the Westchester County Office of Workforce Investment, which applied for the federal grant. “We’re matching newly trained workers with employers desperate for a talented workforce. It’s getting people back to work, saving employers time and money in the recruitment process and strengthening our regional economy with a strong talent pipeline. It’s a win for everyone involved.”

To learn more about Jobs Waiting and find out if you are eligible, call 914.948-4144 or visit jobswaiting.com.

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