Full Employment Council hosts celebration for bilingual healthcare training program


Preparados students pose with Dr. Joe Seabrooks, president, MCC-Penn Valley; Bernardo Ramirez, executive director, Hispanic Economic Development Corporation; and Clyde McQueen, CEO of the Full Employment Council.

The Full Employment Council hosted an event Friday afternoon at their 1740 Paseo location to celebrate the successful completion of Preparados en Salud, Kansas City’s first training initiative for bilingual students entering the healthcare field.  Over 50 people attended the event, including students, program leaders, and healthcare organizations and employers.

Sixteen students completed the pilot program and fifteen received successful job placement in healthcare facilities, with salaries ranging up to $15.00 an hour.  

The program, which wrapped at the beginning of August, combined Certified Nurse Assistant training, academic and workforce preparation, and prerequisite classes designed ultimately to help students seeking admission to Metropolitan Community College’s practical nursing program.  Of the pilot group of students, six are continuing their education at MCC.

Preparados is the result of a partnership between the Full Employment Council, Metropolitan Community College’s Institute for Workforce Innovation, the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation, Jewish Vocational Services, and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR).  Truman Medical Center and Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics provided input about employer needs.  It was inspired by the Carreras en Salud model, a bilingual healthcare training program based in Chicago.  This initiative will help meet the demand for bilingual healthcare workers as well as serve the region’s burgeoning Hispanic population.

Twenty students have enrolled in the second Preparados class which began last month, with a wait list forming for future course offerings.  As the program continues, the partner organizations are working together to secure funding to ensure Preparados’ sustainability.