White House Jobs Council Visits Saddleback College

Photo courtesy of Michael O'Meara

On the morning of Monday, March 5th, Saddleback College hosted the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which facilitated a discussion with local and national healthcare stakeholders to discuss workforce training needs within the healthcare sector. The U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, chose Saddleback College as the venue for this panel discussion and listening session because the college is launching a new health career boot camp, an innovative basic skills development pilot program for students entering allied health educational programs.

Saddleback College was very lucky to host our distinguished guests and I am confident that these discussions will help shape the future of healthcare education. I am extremely proud of the hard work that our administrators, faculty, and staff have put into ensuring that our students are prepared to meet the growing workforce needs of the healthcare industry, and I look forward to watching this program thrive as it helps our students acquire the skills they need for career success.

The President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness has partnered with California Community Colleges to develop national models for accelerated training and placement of health care workers into available jobs. The event highlighted the California Community College Chancellor’s Office Health Workforce Initiative and California as a national model for how cities and states across the country can address their healthcare workforce training needs.

The discussion at Saddleback College featured a panel of representatives from the White House, California Community Colleges, and healthcare industry partners, who all spoke about their areas of expertise and took questions from the audience.

The panel was introduced by Chancellor Gary Poertner and included: Don Graves, Executive Director, President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness; Alicia Villarreal,  West Coast Regional Representative, U.S. Department of Labor; Linda Zorn, Statewide Director, Health Workforce Initiative, California Community Colleges; Tim Rainey,  Executive Director, California Workforce Investment Board; Maria-Jean Caterinicchio,  Director, Workforce Development and Professional Practice at Saddleback Memorial  Medical Center and MemorialCare Medical Centers – Orange County; Donna  Rane-Szostak, Dean of Health Sciences and Human Services, Saddleback College; Jim  Collins, Dean of Science and Allied Health, Sacramento City College; Courtney Sinclair,  Saddleback College Nursing Program Graduate.

Prior to the discussion, Donna Rane-Szostak led the panelists on a tour of Saddleback’s allied health program simulated labs, where they watched students in the paramedic and nursing programs simulate an emergency response situation. Dr. Rane-Szostak stated, “We are very excited about our pilot program and believe it has real potential to be a model in the state and throughout the nation. The program will be piloted at Saddleback College beginning this summer and will focus on health care sector-specific basic skills to enhance student success.”

To view the panel discussion online, visit http://socccd.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2. To view photos from the event, visit http://www.saddleback.edu/news/Presidents-Council-on-Jobs-and-Competitiveness/.