UVA’s Pathway to Health Career Program Has Begun!

  • UVA Medical Center investing approximately $218,000 to engage and hire 40 un-and underemployed 18-25 year-olds over the next 2 years
    • $90,000 is directly from the UVA Medical Center
  • Students will get:
    • Full tuition for 8-week Certified Nursing Assistant Training (Institution has 95% success rate)
    • Classes taught at night, in town, near a bus top
    • Day to day stipend
    • Work place readiness and other soft skills provided by Piedmont VA Community College
    • Peer mentorship provided by Charlottesville Works Initiative through the beginning to 12 months into employment at UVA
  • If successful, students can begin work at UVA Medical Center on June 1
    • Average salary of $12.99/hr, expecting a 6% raise in 12 months
    • Will receive mentorship from current nursing staff
    • Do not have to work at UVA Medical Center
  • Currently, there are 3 rotations per year
    • Next rotations begin in July, and October
    • Currently each rotation is 10 people
    • UVA Medical Center and Charlottesville Works Initiative are currently in conversations with other stake holders for possible expansion

If you know someone or if you qualify and would benefit from this program please contact:

Charlottesville Works Initiative

209 5th Street N.E.

Charlottesville, VA 22902

(434) 996-6780

First Rung Collaborative Strategy Committee

Mary Preston, Peace Lutheran Church

John Frazee, St. Paul’s Memorial Church

UVa Hoping for January Start of First Rung Training!

Report to IMPACT’s 9th Annual Assembly by Trish Cluff, Associate Vice President for Strategic Relations and Marketing

Thank you for the opportunity to update you on the University of Virginia Health System’s commitment to workforce education including IMPACT’s First Rung Healthcare Careers Collaborative.

A key part of the University of Virginia Health System’s mission is the training of health professionals, within a culture that promotes equity, diversity and inclusiveness.

As I shared with you in April, recognizing the need for additional workforce development, the UVA System is pursuing a foundation grant to advance the first rung concept.

Since I was with you in April, the UVA Health System completed a feasibility study, identified strategic partners including Charlottesville Works – a nonprofit affiliate of the Charlottesville Area Chamber of Commerce and Piedmont Virginia Community College, and submitted our grant application that included a letter for support from President Sullivan.

 The UVA Health System proposes to identify and engage 50 unemployed or underemployed young adults ages 18 to 25 for skills training, mentoring, education and employment to equip them for an upwardly mobile career path in healthcare.

This pilot program is a collaborative effort led by UVA among multiple partners, joined through memorandums of agreement, to provide resources, community work skills training, education and mentoring for success. Charlottesville Works Initiative has a mission to reduce underemployment, unemployment, and eliminate poverty.

It has hired community-embedded Peers, identified through both community and self-references, who use a triage tool, developed in partnership with the UVA Curry School of Education, to detect soft skills and life management resources that candidates might need to succeed, such as childcare, transportation, and other assistance. These Peers are well connected and respected in the community and specifically selected for their familiarity with the challenges young adults face in overcoming poverty.

Before continuing with the training program, UVA Health System Human Resources will provide job-shadowing opportunities to ensure awareness of job responsibilities. Piedmont Virginia Community College will provide workplace readiness and other soft skills. Upon completion of soft skills and Certified Nursing Assistant training, candidates will be eligible to apply for entry-level employment at the UVA Health System as Patient Care Assistants.

Participants that fulfill UVA employment application requirements, including criminal record checks and shadowing experiences, will begin employment as an entry-level UVA Patient Care Assistant. Once hired by UVA, additional employee mentorship and training will be provided to complement on-going community Peer support that will remain in place during the first 12 months of employment. We anticipate that participants, starting as no-or-low income, will become Patient Care Assistants earning an average hourly salary of $12.99, advancing within twelve months to a Patient Care Technician earning an average of $13.82, representing a 6% increase.

The training candidates receive equips them with a career path opportunity, even if they choose to seek employment outside of UVA following their training.

As of today, we know we were successful in receiving preliminary acceptance for further consideration.

On November 7th, we will learn of the Trustees decision to support our grant proposal. Anticipating Foundation support, we plan to implement our Career Path in Healthcare program in January 2015. Over the next two years, we participate 50 individuals completing the program and begin their health care career.

We will update IMPACT leadership as soon as we learn of the Foundation decision. The Health System would like to thank Bob Bayer, John Frazee, Sarah Peaslee, Mary Preston and Josh Scott for their collaboration.

NPR: A ‘Lost Generation of Workers’ the Cost of Young Adult Unemployment

As we try to connect our local unemployed youth with direct job openings in the healthcare industry, we can recognize that our community is not the only one struggling with this. The content of this post is taken from NPR: A ‘Lost Generation of Workers’ The Cost of Young Adult Unemployment

It makes some sense that young people might work less than their older counterparts. They are figuring out their lives, going in and out of school and making more short-term plans.

But a whopping 5.8 million young people are neither in school nor working. It is “a completely different situation than we’ve seen in the past,” says Elisabeth Jacobs, the senior director for policy and academic programs at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

“It’s a big deal. … That’s a whole cohort of Americans who are at the very beginning of their careers and are pretty dispirited,” she says.

Youth UnemploymentYouth unemployment remains remarkably high across the country. In some places, the unemployment rate among 16- to 24-year-olds is the national unemployment rate, which is currently 6.3 percent.

It’s a development that experts warn could have ripple effects for decades to come — not only for young people’s lifelong earning potential but also for their contributions to the tax base and the strength of the U.S. economy overall.

And many of them have more than just themselves to support.

“This isn’t the story of people who can’t get a job at the mall. It’s about people who are trying to support their families,” Jacobs told Morning Edition‘s Steve Inskeep. “We’re talking about a lot of American parents who are struggling.”

One of them is 22-year-old Patty Sanchez of Reno, Nev., who recently had to take several days off from her job at a call center while her young daughter had foot surgery. But there was a mix-up; Sanchez was ruled a “no-show” and fired.

Since then, the high school graduate has sent out dozens of resumes, posted on career websites and gone from store to store asking about work. Meanwhile, she has four children under the age of 5 and was recently evicted from her apartment.

“I feel like it’s a hole that I can’t seem to get myself out of, even though I’m trying,” she says. “And I’m trying to stay positive about it,”

Mark Pingle, an economist at the University of Nevada in Reno, says that a high school education isn’t enough these days — even for a place like Reno, which has traditionally had ample work opportunities in the service sector. During the peak of the recession, the unemployment rate for young adults in Nevada shot above 20 percent.

“You need, more so, an education in Nevada than in the past. You need to get skills,” he says.

But, as Alexandria Roberts is learning, even a college diploma is no guarantee. Roberts, 23, recently graduated from the University of Nevada with a degree in political science and a goal of working in political campaigns. After months of struggling to find a job in her field, she has expanded her search.

“A human resources position, any kind of office management, things like that,” she says. “I applied for these jobs, and it’s just … the opportunity is not there,” she says. “I have a bachelor’s degree, which doesn’t get you anywhere. But it’s a Catch-22: It doesn’t get you anywhere, but everybody thinks that you’re overqualified for things.”

When Alex Contreras finished high school, he knew he’d need some kind of specialty. He moved away from home and enrolled in Job Corps, a one- to two-year federal program for economically disadvantaged youth. There, he received training as a security guard, which he hoped would help him find stable employment while working toward his long-term goal of becoming a police officer.

But, so far, lacking on-the-job experience, the 20-year-old has only been able to find part-time work. He suspects that older people, with more experience, are getting the kind of entry-level positions he is aiming for.

“You maybe have all those certifications, but what about the other person? He maybe has the same certifications, but he has probably done it more than I have,” Contreras says.

But, according to Jacobs, even taking that part-time job might be better than holding out for full-time.

“If you’ve had a long unemployment spell, even if it’s in the beginning of your career, employers don’t like that. So, to start your career with that black mark on your record, it follows you for a very long time, for a variety of reasons,” she says.

Throughout the labor market, she says, experts are seeing what she calls a “cruel game of musical chairs,” in which people with more education or experience aren’t able to get jobs that they want and are instead going after positions that might require fewer skills or less experience.

“When the music stops, you have all of the college grads have taken the Starbucks jobs, and so if you’re a less educated person who, in the past, a job like that might have been kind of your go-to first job — the chairs just aren’t available to them,” Jacobs says.

And the difference has long-term impact, affecting earnings for about 20 years, according to Jacobs.

“You kind of hop on a career ladder with that first job, so that impacts your wage trajectory, because, you know, you start off on a lower rung,” she says.

“We risk really having this lost generation of workers,” Jacobs says. “And what that means in terms of the economy’s ability to innovate and compete, when you’ve kind of wasted the talents of some substantial portion of a generation, is really, it’s alarming.”

8th Annual Nehemiah Action

Crowd      Fr GregoryCrowdShawayne Berry

The content of this post is taken from the Daily Progress coverage of the Nehemiah Action.

Maybe they aren’t changing the world, but a yearlong effort by members of a local interfaith and cross-denomination organization is changing Central Virginia.

Efforts by the Interfaith Movement Promoting Action by Congregations Together — IMPACT — led to Region Ten plans to double the number of hours available for children’s mental health; more funding of homeless prevention programs; better communication and cohesion among homeless service providers; and an effort by the University of Virginia Health System to train local youth for entry-level medical positions.

A thousand or more community faithful from Christian, Jewish and Islamic congregations met Monday evening at John Paul Jones Arena for the eighth annual Nehemiah Action assembly to hear from agencies tasked with implementing the organization’s goals.

The goals were set at an October meeting of the organization.

“Our primary motive is faith, not civic duty,” said Bob Bayer, of Westminster Presbyterian Church and IMPACT’s co-president. “We are not a political movement, although we acknowledge that there is a political component to almost of the injustices we hope to address.”

The assembly was called to report the results of IMPACT’s efforts at addressing social and economic injustice, from unemployment among youth to the lack of mental health care for youth. Members of the organization met to discuss proposals and spent the past six months, and longer in some cases, working with local officials.

IMPACT committee members reported strides made in serving the region’s homeless families and in preventing those with emergency needs from becoming homeless. They noted that the organization’s efforts helped bring service providers together and make an additional $250,000 available via grants.

Perhaps the big win was a commitment by Region Ten, the agency that provides mental health services for Central Virginia, to hire a part-time child psychiatrist and expand the number of treatment hours available.

IMPACT officials noted that Region Ten, funded by state money and Medicaid, had only enough child psychiatrists and psychologists available to provide 15 hours a week, from 9 a.m. to noon Fridays. That left hundreds of children without care.

“For a community with the abundance of resources this community has, this patched together program is not enough,” said Sheila Herlihy, of Church of the Incarnation Catholic Church, who served on the group’s mental health committee.

Robert Johnson, executive director of Region Ten, said he and his staff agreed.

“We believe we have developed a plan, a basic strategy to expand telepsychiatric contacts and secure a part-time child psychiatrist, which would bring us to 40 hours a week of service,” Johnson said.

Johnson said Region Ten had found grants and money available to expand telepsychiatry into Nelson and Greene counties as well as hire the part-timer.

Although the televised service should be available in both counties by the end of the year, finding a part-time psychiatrist will be more difficult, he said. He expects someone to be hired by next summer.

Impact committee members studying youth employment had asked UVa Health System to start a pilot program of tuition waivers for 30 students to train in entry-level medical positions. They estimated the cost to be $90,000.

UVa officials agreed to look into grants that would create a similar program with other funding coming from local organizations and “stakeholders.” They stopped short of promising a unilaterally funded program should the grants fail or stakeholders not be found.

The agencies agreed to report back to Impact at the organization’s October assembly.

Report from Meeting with Dr. Richard Shannon


Communication to Congregations: First Rung Collaborative (Youth Unemployment Initiative)

Good news!

On January 9th, we had a very positive meeting.  13 IMPACT leaders met with Dr. Richard Shannon, VP of UVA Health Affairs, and Trish Cluff, Associate VP of Strategic Relations.  Our 2 years of hard work, research, and follow up with decision makers and allies was affirmed.  He understands our request for tuition waivers and mentors for young adults seeking entry level healthcare jobs.  He is concerned, as we are, about barriers to employment.  He made a commitment to work with us. We expect another meeting before January ends so stay tuned for an update after the research meeting February 20th.

IMPACT Unemployment Strategy Committee

Sarah Peaslee                                                Mary Preston                                    John Frazee

TJMC-Unitarian Universalist                        Peace Lutheran                        St. Paul’s Memorial Church


2013 First Rung Healthcare Careers Collaborative

The problem: IMPACT has worked over the past two and half years on the problem of youth unemployment that impacts an estimated 3,000 young adults.  One of the largest barriers for young adults is the cost of training programs leading to careers that can support a family. Virginia Workforce estimates growth of about 12,000 healthcare positions between now and 2018.

A solution: We are asking the UVA Health System to fund a pilot program that has 30 local participants at approximately $3,000 each, totaling $90,000 that will begin in August 2014, the start of Piedmont Virginia Community College’s fall semester. This program would include:

  • Tuition waivers at $3,000 for each local student based on need
  • Commitment to hire successful graduates of the program
  • On-the-job coaching and mentoring (preceptors)
  • Eye toward program expansion following evaluation

Having a public commitment from motivated employers is the first step to making this happen. We are asking UVA Health System to make the first step for an initial pilot program.  Our research has shown that:

  • At Piedmont Virginia Community College, the most expensive entry level healthcare training program is approximately $3,000
  • Martha Jefferson Hospital had a similar program. In its pilot phase, they had 30 participants

Following evaluation we envision a collaborative and sustainable program to develop between UVA Medical Center and Martha Jefferson Hospital to form an employer-led collaborative that would:

  • Provide employers with skilled, credentialed and loyal local workers
  • Provide entry-level workers with education opportunities that lead to career mobility

Young Adult Job Training Testimony

Hello my name is India Sims. I had a spinal cord injury at 10 months old from a lumbar puncture and have been partially paralyzed since then. I graduated from CATech in 2003 and Virginia School of Massage in 2009 with degrees in cosmetology, make-up artist, esthetician, and massage therapy. While I have been successful during those times, I faced many unfair obstacles. I’m a success but I know too many people that didn’t make it.

During high school, I enrolled in CATech in order to get a cosmetology and barber license. I had to research CATech on my own, no guidance counselor or teacher suggested it. It wasn’t until after I asked; that my counselor helped me

Once enrolled in CATech, the process doesn’t get any easier. High school students have to pay for their materials and people had to quit classes because they couldn’t afford the costs. I was able to pay only because of disability insurance. My supplies cost between $100-$200 per semester. Financial Aid is difficult to obtain. I was told that was because so many people drop out that they are reluctant to give more aid.

Adults wanting to take vocational classes face even more issues. There is no bus route to CATech so people rely on friends, walking, or expensive taxis to travel to and from school. Adults also have to take pre-tests in order to enter CATEC, PVCC, or other votech colleges. If they fail these tests they have to pay to retake the class until they pass it. For some it has been years since they took math or science and these pre-tests and the cost of remedial classes prevent many from entering a training program. Enrollment is difficult. Some classes are only offered at night and many classes fill-up quickly. The schedule for classes is not easy or manageable for many with children. I was fortunate to have my mom take care of my son. But it certainly wasn’t easy on her or me. She was taking care of an infant after a full day of work. For many there are no viable childcare options, most daycare facilities close before classes even start.

Financial Aid for adult votech training is extremely limited and difficult to obtain. I qualified for a loan but the aid office did not help me secure one. Even though I knew the system I couldn’t get a loan. I did everything I could but ultimately it was either keep on arguing and not go to school or finance it on my own. I will be paying back my school debt for at least the next 10 years. They were not upfront about the fees, and I didn’t know how much I owed until after graduation. I have been paying back my loan but they just sent my debt to collections. They are now calling my mom to try and get the money.

It’s not worth it to be in debt for years paying for training that is not valued. I paid more for my classes than my annual income. The biggest problem is that schools are too expensive and too difficult to access.

People should not have to face this many obstacles when they are just trying to better their lives. The difficulties I faced trying to get training were harder than those I face as a disabled woman. That’s just not right. I face enough challenges; it should have been easier to get an education and training. And it wasn’t.