Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), who co-chairs the bipartisan Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus, recognized the five graduates of the second Stepping Up Health Career Orientation Class at Westerly Hospital today.
Deborah Davidson, Jenny Rebecca Pendergast, Valerie L.W. Richard, Lori Sanchez and Ivette Torres received citations from the Congressman congratulating them on completing the community pipeline job training program. The initiative provides unemployed and underemployed Rhode Islanders skills and experience to gain entry-level positions in the healthcare field. Following seven to eight weeks of classroom work, the students take part in internships with Stepping Up's partner employers and receive career counseling.
Langevin has emphasized the importance of giving Rhode Island workers the opportunity to pursue careers in healthcare fields, recognizing that even during the 18-month recession, the health care sector added 428,000 jobs across the country, due to high demand for these services.
"We cannot fully address job creation in our state without ensuring our education and job training programs are better aligned with businesses' needs," said Langevin. "Stepping Up provides an outstanding model for working with employers to prepare workers to succeed in a sector that has significant growth potential."
According to its website, Stepping Up is a partnership between the UNAP/Rhode Island Hospital Health Care Education Trust and Women and Infants Hospital, Rhode Island-based hospitals and healthcare organizations, education and training providers, labor unions and funders. It provides education, training and support services to community residents, as well as full and part-time employees of partner employers who are interested in developing long-term careers in healthcare.