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St. Luke's, HCLV Partner to Provide Language, Training Programs to Workers | WDIY Local News

Mimi Thian

A new partnership between a local health network and a community organization aims to provide workers with language and educational opportunities this fall.

St. Luke’s University Health Network and the Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley have formed a joint venture, called the Cultural and Linguistic Workforce Development Centers.

According to a network release, the centers will offer English classes, General Education Development, and specialized healthcare training starting this fall at the HCLV in SouthSide Bethlehem, and at St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Campus in Center City Allentown.

“The Workforce Development Centers are providing the Lehigh Valley community the opportunity to train for high-priority skilled occupations in health care while learning employability skills and developing a career ladder for professional growth,” HCLV Executive Director Victoria Montero said in the release.

The programming is geared to help workers at any stage of their career path, and services will be offered in collaboration with Lehigh Carbon Community College, Northampton Community College, and The Literacy Center.

The release also notes that Workforce Board Lehigh Valley is co-located at the Sacred Heart site, and participants can be referred as needed.

Participants will work with bilingual (English and Spanish) Workforce Development Coordinators to identify career goals and barriers to employment, and create individualized action plans to complete ESL and/or GED programs.

They will also be able to enroll in programs that may lead to a career as a phlebotomist, nurse’s aide, dental assistant, emergency medical technician, community health worker, EKG technician and pharmacy technician. The overall program will be between 12-20 weeks long.

Anyone interested in participating can fill out an online survey here, contact HCLV at 610-868-7800, extension 225 or hclvinfo@hclv.org, or contact St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Campus at 484-658-4603 or community.health@sluhn.org.

Participants must meet Community Development Block Grants eligibility requirements, and there will be a small fee for the trainings which can be paid in full or through a payment plan.

According to Dr. Raiika Reed, Vice President of St. Luke’s Community Health, the program is important to the health network because it will develop “a pipeline of qualified, bilingual healthcare workers.”

“These efforts will also market the region to diverse, motivated individuals looking to relocate as they know there are established trainings and employment opportunities,” she said.

According to Jennifer Leach, Job Training Healthcare Specialist at LCCC, healthcare is a growing and in-demand field.

She said that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in healthcare occupations will grow by 13% from 2021-2031.

The program is funded by a $450,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

(Original air-date: 7/31/23)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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