23 December 2019

Health Care Training Continues to Remove Barriers for Students

Since 2015, SUNY Schenectady’s Office of Workforce Development and Community Education has led a regional effort, the Upstate Partnership for Healthcare Pathways (UPHP), to implement a five-year grant to train Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients, and individuals falling below the 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, for credentialed careers in healthcare. As of September 2019, the program exceeded its goals of enrolling TANF recipients – achieving 130 percent of its initial goal for a total of 430 persons.

“In our Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) training programs, we are providing a clear pathway for students who have challenges that may have otherwise made it difficult for them to pursue a career in health care,” said Dr. Steady Moono, President of SUNY Schenectady. “We are empowering them to earn the necessary skills to fulfill a variety of roles in growing health care careers.”

SUNY Schenectady works with SUNY Adirondack, Fulton-Montgomery Community College, Albany Community Action Partnership, and Schenectady Community Action Program. SUNY Schenectady is the lead agency in the UPHP, providing guidance to the other partners and helping them to develop ways to recruit students, while sharing best practices. 

SUNY Schenectady offers training in: 

Students have also completed prerequisites for admission to local nursing schools. 

Sean Maguire, Vice President of Workforce Development and Community Education at SUNY Schenectady, noted the impact of preparing students for these key roles. “The current and future demand for healthcare professionals presents us with the chance to provide new life-changing opportunities for people,” he said. “These positions are filling front-line roles in our hospitals and nursing homes while creating a new pathway to personal and professional growth.”

With one year remaining in the program, SUNY Schenectady is on track to meet most, if not all, program goals:

  • 1,740 Enrolled in Program (79 percent of goal)
  • 430 TANF Recipients Enrolled (130 percent of goal)
  • 798 Enrolled in Basic Skill Trainings (82 percent of goal)
  • 650 Complete Basic Skill Trainings (91 percent of goal)
  • 2,042 Healthcare Courses Begun (78 percent of goal)
  • 1,350 Healthcare Courses Complete (69 percent of goal)
  • 636 Employed in Healthcare (61 percent of goal)

HPOG is also part of a national study to assess the outcomes associated with wraparound services to students. Through a random selection process, while all students have access to the educational programs, some students are placed into a group that receives more intensive services including assistance with transportation including gas/fuel costs and bus passes and childcare expenses. The College also provides students assigned to the control group and without access to the grant’s wraparound services with referrals to alternative social services, including local agencies or other grants.

Recently, the College’s HPOG program was featured in a national story, HPOG Creates A Path Out of Poverty, in Community College Daily – American Association of Community Colleges.

Dr. Tiziana Rota is the Project Director. “As principal investigator for the grant, I am thrilled to see the progress and the huge impact we have made not only in so many students’ lives and their families, but also the healthcare community at large,” she said.


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