Community Education program brochures Metro North ABE - Consortium newsletter, Feb. 2016 - Page 4

Workforce Partnerships Bridging the gap between what we teach our students and what employers need from their employees Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and the federal guidelines that fund ABE (Title II) and workforce activities (Title I), programs between WIOA titles are required to partner to produce shared education and employment outcomes that benefit the community. Metro North ABE has long collaborated with the Anoka County Workforce Center (WFC), and especially Anoka Technical College (ATC) and Anoka Ramsey Community College (ARCC), to ensure that our community has access to relevant education and training opportunities that result in employment and a career or education ladder that impacts participants for a lifetime. The economic landscape of Anoka County is routinely surveyed by the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and the Anoka County WFC to ensure the needs of local employers are being addressed. These departments work directly with employers to seek out potential employees, and advocate training for hard-to-fill or entry-level positions by working with ABE and post-secondary schools. Training programs are then developed in partnership with employers to address those needs. Some of these training programs are made possible through local, regional, or state grant revenue. Some local ABE programs integrate industry-specific training into their regular programming. This practice ensures there are skilled workers for the current jobs in the communities where the workers live. Healthcare Pathways The Healthcare Pathways program addresses the need for skilled nursing assistants in the long-term healthcare A Healthcare Pathways Success Story In November, 2015, eleven Metro North Adult Basic Education (ABE) students celebrated their completion of the Health Care Pathways program. One of the students, Amy Plemel, 43, struggled through high school academically before she dropped out over 26 years ago. It took going through the ABE program three times before she was finally able to turn things around. A few years after Plemel dropped out of high school, she enrolled in adult basic education in Forest Lake, but something still just wasn’t clicking. “I couldn’t get 4 Metro North Consortium the math, it was just way too advanced for me,” Plemel explained. She enrolled in ABE classes again in 1997 through Metro North ABE in Blaine, but missed earning her GED by just a few points. Plemel went on to have twin boys, now age 10, one of whom was diagnosed with autism at age 5. After watching how health care staff worked with her son at occupational therapy appointments each week, she developed an interest in the nursing and health care field. “I saw how much they changed his life and how important they were in his diagnosis,” Plemel says. field. Working in partnership with local healthcare employers, the colleges, Metro North ABE, and workforce centers developed a 100-hour bridge class to help prepare learners for their college classes in the healthcare field. The bridge class includes building employability and academic skills such as medical terminology, research paper writing, and reading for healthcare careers. When learners complete the bridge program, they move onto the college-level courses. Local employers play a critical role in two parts of the project: first, in development of the curriculum and course selections based on their employment needs; second, in providing tours and clinical sites for participants. With over Plemel came back to Metro North ABE in April 2015 and learned about the new state diploma program. She thought, “I need to do everything I can to change my family’s life and give them opportunities.” Plemel earned the new Minnesota state diploma, and the title of a CNA and a Home Health Care Aide through Healthcare Pathways, a collaborative program between Metro North ABE, Anoka-Hennepin Technical College, ARCC and the Anoka County Workforce Center. Plemel left the Healthcare Pathways program with a job and another interview lined up, after attending recruitment days coordinated by the Anoka