SCCPSS, St. Joseph's/Candler partnership to provide job training

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Students from Beach and Woodville-Tompkins high schools have something to look forward to through the healthcare pathway courses.

Starting in the next school year, a select group of students will be able to work for St. Joseph's Candler as patient care technicians through a new partnership with the school system.

This partnership between St. Joseph's/Candler and Savannah Chatham County Public Schools gives students an upper hand in the job market. Students will receive paid on-the-job training as Patient Care Technician.

"The hardest thing in getting a job is getting experience," said Paul Hinchey, President & CEO of St. Joseph's Candler.

That's something students at Beach and Woodsville-Tompkins high schools won't have to worry about in the future. Students can use the skills they're learning at school in a real-life setting.

"I'm very excited because, as a teenager, they kind of associate us with crime and we get to do a positive impact on the community," said Tamya Stewart, student at Woodsville-Tompkins.

"I always wanted to be in the healthcare pathway and I feel like this is the first step to my future," said Hollie Giles, student at Woodville-Tompkins.

"I get to have a lot of experience and it'll give me a leg up on everyone else," said E'Lexuis Smith,student at Woodville-Tompkins.

"My sister went down the nursing path and I was like, 'I think I'll try it too," said Jasmine Warren, student at Woodville-Tompkins.

Students will earn $10 to $12 dollars an hour and work 20 hours a week, rotating through different clinical departments and hospital units. While training on the job, students will provide bedside care for St. Joseph's Candler patients; including monitoring vital signs, assisting with meals or bedding, changing bandages, and other duties depending on patients' needs.

This partnership came about after superintendent Dr. Ann Levett and President & CEO Paul Hinchey went to lunch one day.

"He said, 'how can I help you,' and I said, 'okay, I'm going to take advantage of this opportunity," said Dr. Ann Levett, Superintendent of SCCPSS.

"We support public education, that's number one. The second thing is, we know that value of work experience while you're still \in school," Hinchey said.

St. Joseph's Candler said, in a statement:

As healthcare needs continue to grow along with an aging population, PCT's serve an essential role in hospitals and nursing homes, and the field is expected to continue growing. Similar to the City of Savannah's Summer 500 program, the PCT Apprentice Program was developed to give students a unique, hands-on experience in patient care under the guidance of Savannah's most dedicated healthcare professionals. SJ/C expects to invest up to $100,00 in this program, and is looking to expand its focus beyond clinical careers

Five students will be selected to start the program which officially starts in August 2018.

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