Jobs Waiting / Healthcare —The labor market remains resilient, with the unemployment rate hovering at five percent. Yet so many individuals are still desperately looking for work—the number of unemployed Americans who have been looking for a job for more than six months is higher than it was when the last recession started, according to the Wall Street Journal.

And that’s frustrating for healthcare employers in the Hudson Valley, who have more than 3,000 vacancies on their hands. “With our large regional presence, we always have positions to fill,” says Eric Saidel, director of human resources at ENT and Allergy Associates, a large medical practice with 43 locations and a growing corporate office. “We’re also expanding our patient rapid referral center call center, which is a great place to start a career with ENT.”

That’s why Saidel is excited about hiring graduates from "Jobs Waiting", a workforce re-training program funded by a federal Ready to Work grant, led by Westchester County and the Weschester-Putnam Workforce Development Board, and managed by the Westchester County Association. Jobs Waiting makes possible the re-training of 500 long-term unemployed people in the Hudson Valley jobs in healthcare. “Jobs Waiting is helping people acquire skills needed in healthcare, a hot sector where there are always openings,” adds Saidel.

Here are four reasons why Saidel says Jobs Waiting candidates make for appealing hires:

  1. They are motivated. Jobs Waiting participants attend a 6-week job training bootcamp that runs six hours a day, four days a week, for six weeks. Coaches provide one-on-one counseling, and participants learn how to transfer existing skills to a new career. “Because they have shown up every day for 6 weeks and gone through this program, we know that they are committed, and motivated to succeed,” says Saidel.

  2. They are professional. “In my field, you meet a lot of candidates that may not present well, or respond to emails or calls. That is not the case with Jobs Waiting candidates, who are professional and reliable. We’ve found this to be true throughout the interview process and well after they are hired. The training and coaching is a real benefit to job seekers and employers.

  3. They are ready for more. After six weeks of intensive job readiness training, Jobs Waiting candidates are primed to learn more advanced skills and eventually, for upward mobility. ENT and Allergy has opportunities for on-the-job training, and movement to other departments in the company. “We have been so pleased with the people we have hired through this program, who have already proved themselves to be more than capable. We are happy to provide a foot in the door that may lead to further opportunities,” says Saidel.

  4. The program works! Saidel has been involved from the beginning in the regional collaboration that led to the creation of Jobs Waiting, and says it has been rewarding on a personal and professional level. “Seeing it go from grant application to program implementation has been tremendous. We’ve hired four graduates already, and I look forward to evaluating more candidates throughout the seven participating counties. We’re meeting our goals, it’s running well.”

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