A new laboratory, backed by funding from Froedtert & the Medical College, opened at Carmen High School of Science and Technology’s Northwest Campus today in time for students’ return to school tomorrow. The new lab, which is part of a larger neighborhood workforce initiative by Froedtert & the Medical College health network and the Milwaukee Bucks, will serve as the hub for health care and IT career training at the school, located at 5496 N. 72nd St.The Bucks and Froedtert & MCW announced their new partnership last summer, which is aimed at training adults and high school students interested in pursuing health care careers, including customer service representatives, certified nursing assistants, medical assistants and IT service center technicians.
[gallery type="slideshow" size="large" ids="439090,439091,439092,439093"]
The program could train more than 300 students and adults in the surrounding Silver Spring neighborhood over the next five years, organizers said. The Bucks and Froedtert & MCW have committed more than $500,000 over the next five years to support the training courses at Carmen.
Cathy Jacobson, president and chief executive officer of Froedtert Health, said it’s an investment in the community that in turn will help fill the worker shortage in health care. “It’s a fanatic win-win for us to be able to make this community investment that’s going to help us out in health care as well,” Jacobson. The new learning center replaces an unused machine shop classroom, which has been converted over the past year into a hands-on training lab with eight hospital beds, mannequins and nursing station components. All of the equipment was donated by Froedtert and a facilities development team from the health network co-managed the renovation project with Carmen, including installation of new flooring, lighting, ceiling, cabinetry, window casements and electrical wiring.As part of the workforce initiative, Carmen piloted two career pathway programs during the last school year, through which students earned college credit from Milwaukee Area Technical College by taking three courses in either health care customer service or IT systems support. In August, eight Carmen students also completed the certified nursing assistant course at MATC, which the college will offer at the school’s new learning center in 2018.“Health care and IT professions are two of the highest-demand employment areas in southeastern Wisconsin,” said Patricia Hoben, CEO and head of schools of Carmen. “This partnership highlights how a college preparatory high school -- by also teaching career readiness skills and providing intensive work experience in STEM careers -- can truly prepare young people for a choice in life: college; meaningful, family-sustaining work; or both.”Over the summer, 17 Carmen students participated in apprenticeships in health care and IT. Student apprentices were placed at Froedtert Hospital and Community Memorial Hospital in patient care units, admitting, nursing administration, nutrition service and IT service center support. Six students worked in IT systems support apprenticeships at the Bucks and other area businesses. “The partnership we have with both Froedtert & MCW and the Carmen network is truly changing the way our city can look at workforce development,” said Peter Feigin, president of the Bucks. “Oftentimes, students may have a challenging curriculum, but no specific career pathway, or little opportunity to learn the ‘life skills and soft skills’ that are essential to virtually any career pathway. This program blends all of those elements— and on top of it, focuses on both adults and children in Milwaukee’s Choice Neighborhood.”