READING, Pa. -- A medical center in downtown Reading has teamed up with a local technical institute to train people in taking care of the aging baby boom generation.
As the baby boomer generation is becoming older, more health care professionals are in demand. Berks Technical Institute has teamed up with St. Joseph Medical Center to certify students as nursing assistance and home health aides. Berks Technical Institute Campus President Joe Reichard told 69 News on Wednesday that the goal is to provide under-served individuals an opportunity for an education in the health profession.
"As our population ages, more long-term care is needed both in institutional settings and in the home," said Reichard.
Kelly Altland, Vice President of Development at St. Joseph Medical Center told 69 News that the medical center had a program like this in the works years ago. However, due to the recession, their financial partners backed out of the program leaving classrooms and hallways vacant.
"This is an opportunity for us to revitalize this space and bring it back to life," said Altland.
BTI officials stated that the first course is expected to begin on Monday, March 21st. The courses will take six weeks to complete. Officials stated that students who go through this course would become one step closer in getting a job. Reichard told 69 News that this opportunity came about thanks to a grant of over $600,000.
"In this program, we're looking to, in the time of the grant in the three years, put 200 students through the program," said Reichard.
Once the grant money runs out, Reichard stated that BTI does not see any potential trouble reapplying and receiving more grant money. Officials stated that in order to apply for these courses, you have to have a high school diploma or G.E.D., pass an entrance exam and have no criminal history.