Grand Island, NE
Recruitment and employment are a package deal with HELP’s newest healthcare partner.
The Health Education Laddering Program (HELP) Visit disclaimer page at Central Community College (CCC) is no stranger to growth. Along with project partners Southeast Community College, Northeast Community College, and Mid-Plains Community College, CCC engages TANF recipients and other low-income individuals in healthcare education and training. The ultimate goal is to place them on a career pathway to healthcare occupations that pay well and are in high demand. Through scaling up their strategies and interventions over time, Project HELP has gone from one college serving a 14,000-squaremile, 25-county service area to four colleges serving a 60,382-square-mile, 77-county service area.
It came as a shock in 2019 when Project HELP experienced little to no return on their recruitment efforts in the Northeast part of their service area. A Project HELP Career Coach proposed partnering with Aventure, a local healthcare staffing agency. Aventure employs certified nursing assistants, medication aides, licensed practical nurses, and registered nurses. Carrie Ducoff, Branch Manager at Aventure, said “I was blown away in the meeting we had with [Project HELP] on what they offer and quickly sent their information around to my staff”.
Aventure uses job fairs to recruit individuals interested in healthcare training and increased wages. The new employees are referred to Project HELP. After Project HELP staff determine eligibility and complete the random assignment process, participants receive a coach as well as help with tuition, testing fees, and books. Once an individual completes their training, they have a job in healthcare waiting for them at Aventure. Project HELP participants working full time for Aventure receive benefits. They also have the benefit of flexible schedules if they choose ladder credentials with another healthcare training.
As of September 2020, over a dozen participants referred by Aventure completed the nursing assistant or medication aide programs with four more enrolled. All participants express appreciation for the flexibility they have working for Aventure, as well as the experience they gain. This program is a win-win for Aventure and Project HELP. Aventure gains qualified employees, while Project HELP helps participants improve their lives and move up along their career pathway. After the current success and impacts of the Aventure collaboration, Project HELP will contact other staffing agencies with the hope of developing similar successful partnerships.
“I still support this amazing program to this day and will continue doing so for as long as it’s available” — Carrie Ducoff, Branch Manager at Aventure
This Promising Practice was self-identified by the grantee and information contained in this document was provided by the grantee.