GARY | Ivy Tech Community College Northwest will be part of a national effort to train 10,000 baby boomers for new jobs in health care, education and social services.
The Plus 50 Encore Completion Program is sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges. Ivy Tech Community College Northwest, with four campuses located in Gary, Valparaiso, East Chicago and Michigan City, is one of 17 colleges recently selected for the project.
Ivy Tech Community College Northwest will assist adults age 50 and over in completing degrees or certificates in high-demand occupations that give back to the community. With many longtime workers out of a job or transitioning to a new career, the program offers skill updates and career makeovers.
Ivy Tech Northwest will prepare older adults for such careers as community health workers and pharmacy technicians, and could expand to include other health and technology-related careers.
LaShung Willis, director of the Ivy Tech Northwest Health Industry Institute for Education and Training Services, said the college launched a pilot project in December, training a dozen people for the health care field.
The college is offering a non-credit, 48-hour training program. Upon successful completion, students will earn a certificate. Willis said the cost of the training will depend on the number of students per class. However, the first group of students were not required to pay for their training; it was sponsored by the Health Consortium of Illinois.
She said the program also has a built-in 20-hour paid internship. Willis said those who completed the program in December are currently involved in the internship at Among Friends, an adult daycare center in Crestwood, Ill.
"The goal is to make the 50-plus population aware of this career opportunity and encourage them to continue their education in other health care careers," Willis said. "We also are working with two other companies, a hospital and pharmacy, to develop internships for our students who complete the program."
Willis said the dates of the next training will be announced in mid-April.
The Plus 50 Encore Completion Program is made possible through a $3.2 million grant provided by the Deerbrook Charitable Trust.
For more information about the Community Health Worker program, contact Willis at (219) 981-4402 or firstname.lastname@example.org.