N.O. Career Center Retrains Adults for New Jobs
NEW ORLEANS – Since March 2020, nearly 100 adults have completed the Adult Rapid Reskill program conceived by New Orleans Career Center Executive Director Claire Jecklin. This no-cost program has enabled dozens of hospitality workers unemployed by the pandemic go to work in new career paths as patient care technicians. Anyone who passes the PCT credentialing test at the end of the program has a guaranteed job offer from a local healthcare organization. Four cohorts of adults ages 19 to 66 have already completed the program, 86 percent of whom are working in PCT positions at Ochsner Health and LCMC Health. A fifth cohort finishes at the end of January.
“It was immediately clear that NOCC was uniquely qualified to help solve two urgent problems created by the pandemic: enormous job losses in our community, and an urgent need for healthcare workers as institutions filled with COVID patients,” said Jecklin. “We already had the credentialed teachers and the employer relationships. Together, we were able to stand up a quality program that has put locals back to work, and, helped ease some of the healthcare workload by adding qualified patient care staff.”
Less than 30 days after statewide shutdown orders were issued, Jecklin, the NOCC staff, and a talent management official at Ochsner Health co-designed and launched the Adult Rapid Reskill program to train and certify PCTs, a position widely seen as an early stepping-stone to becoming a nurse. Entergy provided startup funding to launch this program.