Pipeline partnership with WCA benefits SWBOCES healthcare students

 speaker addresses class as administrator looks onA partnership between Southern Westchester BOCES and the Westchester County Association is benefiting students in our Center for Adult & Community Services healthcare programs as well as employers in the region. Since 2022, the WCA's Healthcare Talent Pipeline Program has successfully placed job-seekers in more than 100 positions in the booming healthcare field. 

“Our partnerships across the region make it possible to build bridges from funding to training to employment," said SWBOCES' Director of Adult & Community Services Tracy Racicot. "Our teachers and staff are deeply committed to quality training in areas of high employment demand. WCA has been the leader in the healthcare sector in bringing together regional partners. We look forward to continued collaboration and success for our students and the entire community.”

Funded by a Westchester County grant, the Healthcare Talent Pipeline Program brings together partners like SWBOCES, The STEM Alliance, Westchester Community College, state Department of Labor Career Centers and others to work with regional employers that include Open Door Family Medical Center, ENT & Allergy and Associates and others. A recent article by Westchester Magazine pins the economic impact of the program at more than $3.5 million each year.

“WCA is very grateful to Westchester County for additional program funding so we can continue to work with our partners to train more job seekers this year and help healthcare employers fill 100 more in-demand positions,” WCA Director of Workforce Development Jason Chapin tells the magazine.

The program at SWBOCES got under way in the fall of 2022 and is training participants to become a Clinical Medical Assistant or Medical Administrative Assistant/Billing Coding Specialist. Successful candidates earn a state-approved training credential, receive job readiness training and are connected with employers in Westchester County. Support services and $1,000 stipends funded by Westchester County to cover expenses are provided to those who qualify.

teacher assists student during class

Participating students have expressed surprise at the level of support provided in helping them reach their employment goals.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for me to start a second chapter in my life," student Rose Mary De Angelis added, expressing thanks to SWBOCES staff. "You guys have been fantastic. You gave me the confidence to start something new. I’ll be forever grateful!"

Students must be 18 or older and hold a High School diploma or equivalent. Participants are encouraged to contact the Westchester Putnam Career Center to see if they may be eligible to participate at no cost.

teacher smiles at front of classroom

Mr. Chapin recently addressed a classroom of students at SWBOCES' Valhalla campus, welcoming them to the pipeline program. He was able to answer questions and offer encouragement to them as they embarked on the program. He recently said that the program is up to 40 new enrollees this semester and 108 total hires. The 2024 goal is to train and place another 100 participants, pushing job readiness training and coordinating job fairs to boost hirings. Another 50 training graduates are pursuing employment opportunities.

A focus of the program is to help participants overcome barriers to employment while identifying and filling shortages for particular skillsets.

While visiting SWBOCES, Mr. Chapin said that healthcare is the fastest growing sector in the region. According to the WCA's Guide for Jobseekers, the sector employs over 60,000 people and generates $18 billion in economic activity, with a projected 30% increase in job openings by 2028.

“SWBOCES is a proud training provider for the Healthcare Talent Pipeline Program." said Betsy Evans, SWBOCES' Coordinator of Adult and Continuing Education. "The dedicated effort that Westchester County Association has made to break down barriers for our students has truly paid off…as evidenced by their successful workplace transition into the healthcare industry.”

The HTPP was initially designed to recruit 160 job seekers and employees to be trained by SWBOCES and WCC for certified nursing assistant, medical assistant and medical administrative assistant jobs. Participants receive computer training from The STEM Alliance and job readiness and service excellence training from Leadership Learning Group. The Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board provides major funding for the program’s healthcare training at WCC and SWBOCES. Nonprofit Westchester and other nonprofits assist with recruitment and support services. 

For more information about the program, contact the Center for Adult & Community Services at Southern Westchester BOCES at 914-592-0849.