The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County is devoted to creating sustainable career pathways aligned within our Focus and Watch Sectors. Health Workforce for the Future (HWF) provides an exciting opportunity for individuals to find not just a job, but build a career within the healthcare sector. HWF is a local project of the Health Professions Opportunity Grant (HPOG) initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Below we’ve highlighted the story of Josselin Maceda, who seized the opportunities available to her to join a healthcare cohort for young people in college and complete her nursing assistant training.
To learn more about Health Workforce for the Future, please visit seakingwdc.org/hwf-project.
In late spring 2016, at the end of her senior year, Josselin heard about the Health Workforce for the Future (HWF) program from her high school counselor, as part of a recruiting effort for a special cohort—Health Exploration for Youth (HEY)—at Highline College in King County, Washington.
“I was immediately motivated,” says Josselin, upon hearing about the program. “College was always a blueprint for me, but I didn’t know what to study. That’s why HEY stood out—there were a variety of options and careers I could choose from relating to the medical field. It gave me a taste of the college experience, and how to survive it.”
The cohort was designed to provide hands-on healthcare career exploration, basic academic skills development, and an orientation to college. Students learn about opportunities in the healthcare field, explore occupations to find a personal fit, and develop the necessary skills to succeed in occupational skills training.
Josselin enrolled in HEY in July 2016 and successfully completed the program in mid-August. She continued to work with her HWF Navigator into the fall quarter, when she began pre-requisite coursework required for nursing. In early 2017, Josselin enrolled in nursing assistant (NAC) training to fulfill a required nursing pre-requisite and earn a credential that will provide her access to higher wages and additional employment experience. She completed the training in March, and then turned her attention to employment and additional training.
“I was raised in poverty among my family,” says Josselin. “I always felt as if there was nothing I could do about it. Being a young, female immigrant in America is often looked down upon, but I hold my head high. I convert that negativity into inspiration, which fuels my passion.”