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Successful program to assist low-income students train for in-demand careers to hold celebration

News Release: 

Gateway will hold its first official celebration of a specific group of graduates this week, a group which has faced financial challenges but are on their way to overcoming them through receiving a degree and skills in an in-demand health career.

The celebration will be much more than that, too – employers will be on hand to network with the graduates and provide the opportunity to interview for job openings.

Gateway’s Health Opportunity Professions Program will hold a graduation celebration 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. May 10 at the Madrigrano Auditorium of the Conference Center on Gateway’s Kenosha Campus, 3520-30th Ave. Employers from  3 p.m. to 5 p.m. will network with graduates and conduct interviews.

A total of 43 graduates are also part of the HPOP program, the largest group of technical diploma and associate degree graduates of the program in its three-year existence. Those programs include EMT-Basic, Health Unit Coordinator, Nursing, Dental Assistant, Physical Therapy Assistant, Health Information Technology, Surgical Technician and Community Pharmacy. EMT Basic had the highest number of graduates with 16, followed by Health Unit Coordinator with eight and Nursing with seven.

HPOP operates on a federal grant. Established by the Affordable Care Act, the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program provides funding for projects that will prepare Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other people with low incomes for careers in the health care sector.  These are jobs that pay well, have potential for advancement, and are expected to be in high demand.

The Gateway program has been recognized as one that has expanded to reach more participants than planned and has used innovative strategies to keep participants engaged and completing their training program.

Innovative techniques used in the program include creating a learning community with students, instructors and HPOP staff.  Some of the support services students receive are academic advising, career development, soft skills training, tutoring, child care assistance and travel assistance. The program also set up a cohort and team meeting method with students from selected degree programs. The Certified Nursing Assistant and Health Unit Coordinator cohorts were part of a partnership with Wheaton Franciscan Health Care and some classes were offered on site at its Racine location.

For more information, please contact Stacia Thompson at (262) 564-3076.