D Kevin McNeirHealth

‘Pathways to Work’ Marks Second Class of Grads

One year ago, AmeriHealth Caritas DC kicked off a collaborative, 12-week, workforce readiness program aimed at providing foundational skills and increasing economic opportunities for District residents.

And on Monday, Jan. 8, a second cohort group celebrated their graduation from “Pathways to Work” in the Atrium of the Wilson Building in Northwest with 12 of the initial 15 interns completing the program — moving one giant step forward along the road toward achieving their career goals.

Upon its inception, Karen Dale, Market President for AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia, noted that the program would incorporate an intergenerational approach focusing on families with children while partnering with District-based organizations both committed to the community and adept with providing the kinds of skills and experiences essential for success in today’s job market.

“By participating in the program and with our support, District residents will have the opportunity to build pathways to stability and prosperity,” she said. “We are providing resources to help those in need of job reading support — those who are eager to improve their skills and become employed.”

The program integrates basic computer and customer service skills training in a classroom environment along with an on-the-job internship program at AmeriHealth Caritas whose research indicates that unemployment negatively affects communities while the psychosocial impact of living in poverty routinely erodes several critical factors related to health. Program participants gain overall job readiness, relevant career certifications and the skills necessary for entry-level positions in a variety of industries and companies.

Throughout the 12-weeks, interns also receive guidance from experienced mentors, education related to work/life balance, financial literacy and job placement support. Last year, all 14 students in the initial class received certifications in hospitality and guest services along with invaluable work experience. Nine of those graduates found themselves placed in full-time positions — seven of those jobs offered by AmeriHealth Caritas DC.

Dale added that as AmeriHealth Caritas designed the program and set its goals toward helping families achieve financial security through the development of skills leading to gainful, long-term employment, partnering with District familiar with job development has been essential to the success of Pathways to Work.

District partners and supporters include the YWCA and the Department of Employment Services as well as the Mayor’s Office and the D.C. City Council.

Council member David Grosso and AmeriHealth’s Karen Dale brought opening remarks during the graduation while Lisa F. Fitzpatrick, Medical Director/Office of the Senior Deputy Director — Medicaid Director DC/ Department of Healthcare Finance served as the guest speaker bringing words of advice and encouragement.

This year’s graduates include: Tracy Abraham, Tranijah Brown, Artise Fletcher, Tamiseka Hammett, Shamiiseka Hammett, Bianca Mosley, Montique Spence, LaShawn Williams, Tina Lucas, Antonio Weaver, Curtisha Mozie and Marquita Whitfield.

For more information about the program or for interested applicants to apply to the third cohort group, visit http://amerihealthcaritasdc.com/about/internships/index.aspx.

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D. Kevin McNeir – Washington Informer Editor

Kevin, an award-winning veteran journalist, book editor and educator, is the editor for The Washington Informer where he displays a keen insight for political news, editorial development and lifestyle features. A staunch Wolverine, the Detroit native left a promising career at IBM to pursue his passion for writing under the tutelage of the late Sam Logan, founding publisher of the Michigan Chronicle. His journey has continued to press rooms in Grand Rapids, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and currently Washington, D.C. With two master's degrees from Emory University and Princeton Theological Seminary, he finds great joy in his children and grandchildren and is completing his first book, "Growing up Motown" which chronicles his childhood memories with legends like Marvin Gaye, Kim Weston, the Four Tops, the Miracles, Gladys Knight, Berry Gordy and the Jackson Five.

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