A jobs program in Prince George’s County, Maryland, is offering free training for those interested in a career in health care.
“Employ Prince George’s is the bridge between job seekers and businesses,” said Walter Simmons, the organization’s president and CEO.
One of the initiatives under the organization’s COVID-19 Workforce Development Recovery Program is providing county job seekers with free virtual training and support to become a certified medical assistant.
“It’s the top-level Allied Health Certification prior to someone actually becoming a nurse,” Simmons said. “The goal is to provide them with a nationally recognized credential and the skill sets to work for regional health care providers who have an increased need for qualified workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The program is being made possible through a partnership that includes MedCerts, which helps with training, and Goodwill of Greater Washington, which helps with job placement. Currently, some 40,000 Prince George’s County residents are unemployed, Simmons said.
The virtual training is 20 hours a week, part-time, so participants can still work.
“We’re going to give you the laptop; we’re going to pay your tuition, we’re going to even pay for your scrubs, and you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket,” Simmons said. “Then, we’re going to have a virtual job fair and connect you to the employer.”
Along with life coaching, another element of the program Simmons said helps people to get hired is the externship program.
“With the externship, they actually can work for the company while they’re finishing the program, and the goal is that the employer hires them because there’s a need, or if not, they at least have weeks of experience in the field that they can put on their resume to attract another employer to hire them,” Simmons said.
The program is actively welcoming applicants who can proceed at their own pace.
“Someone can get enrolled, get their certificate, get some on-the-job training from a local employer, and then get employed within six months,” Simmons said.