NEW YORK, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — In an effort to arm Latinos with marketable skills for the workplace as well as to reinforce its commitment to empowering the Latino community, The Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network (HITN), joined forces with Lehman College and HITNs CBO Connect network of community based organizations to offer a free, interactive distance learning course which is a component of HITNs Career Fast Track initiative http://www.hitn.org/careerfasttrack.php.
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Using a state of the art classroom approach consisting of high definition videoconferencing (professor to students), face-to-face at community based organizations (via teacher assistants), and online support materials, students receive training and certification in such areas of demand as Healthcare, Energy and Technology. Career Fast Track is made possible by a grant from the NYS Department of Labor.
“Hispanics will account for half of the US labor growth through 2020,” says HITN founder and CEO Jose Luis Rodriguez. “And, there is an increased demand for bilingual employees to address Latino consumers worldwide. With this initiative, we are providing the much needed free resources and tools that will ensure Hispanics become a bigger force in the growing professional service areas” Rodriguez adds.
Although Career Fast Track is currently only available in New York, HITN and its partners plan to grow the program nationally. Rather than using the traditional approach of having one professor teaching 20 students in a classroom, this model allows one professor to reach close to 60 students in multiple sites, creating a more cost effective and productive program. Timing for such a program is critical as Hispanic Americans, who represent 15% of the population and average 26 years of age, can fill the hole as Americas baby boomers retire.
“This is just the beginning for me,” says Armando Cabrera, a recent graduate of the pharmacy technician course. “Im going to go forward and get my certification and I know Ill land a job after that. I feel good about myself and I know Im going to be able to provide a better life for my family,” adds Cabrera. The set up of the class was amazing, the teachers, both virtual and on-site, were knowledgeable and helpful and the students became like a big family”, adds Cabrera.
Career Fast Track offers a selection of 5 courses in a variety of professional services. The pharmacy technician course for example, is a collaboration between HITN and four community based organizations spread throughout New York State; Centro Civico of Amsterdam, Ibero-American Action League, Hispanics United of Buffalo, and Spanish Action League of Onondaga County. The 70-hour training course is taught by a Lehman College professor from a remote site at Lehman College Continuing Education. The objective is to prepare students to enter the pharmacy field and to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Boards PTCB exam. Upon completion of the course, the student receives a certificate from Lehman College, which is sufficient for students to apply for a job as a Pharmacy Technician, and students can also apply for further certification (PTCB).
“Im excited and proud to be a part of this innovate pilot program which allowed me to touch students beyond my traditional classroom,” says Professor Emanuel “Manny” Palermo, Lehman College. This approach can “fast track” their career objectives in a way that is meaningful and practical for todays Latinos. The course and the graduation ceremony used technology to bridge multiple sites in a uniform fashion demonstrating the capability of broadband and initiating a new learning paradigm,” Professor Palermo concludes.
“Career Fast Track takes the classroom to the community through our valued relationships with community based organizations, says Henry Queiro, Vice President for HITNs Career Fast Track division. “We couldnt do this without them. They are on-site, working side-by-side with our students and providing the necessary encouragement and council throughout the process,” adds Queiro. And, it doesnt stop once the course is done. Together with our partners, once our students complete the course, we provide guidance on resume writing, interviewing and helping them find internships and employment,” concludes Queiro.
The Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network, Inc. (HITN) was established in 1983 as a non-profit organization. HITNs mission is to advance Hispanics by providing engaging educational entertainment that expands their horizons, and enables them to serve as an ever-growing engine of intellectual power and progress. HITN is a unique source of educational, cultural, news and public affairs programs delivered to the homes of Hispanics in the United States and Puerto Rico. HITN is available on Dish Network; DirecTV; Time Warner Cable (NY, NJ, TX); Comcast (IL, CO); Charter (CA, NV, WA, GA); AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOs.
About Lehman College:
Lehman College serves the Bronx and its surrounding region as an intellectual, economic, and cultural center. The College is named after Herbert H. Lehman, who was governor of New York State, a U.S. Senator, and an internationalist. His values of dedicated public service continue to guide the College today serving more than 60,000 alumni and 12,000 students.
About Centro Civico of Amsterdam:
Centro Civico of Amsterdam is a Latino not-for-profit organization in Montgomery County with the capacity to administer funds, deliver vital services, housing initiatives and community economic development to the Latino Community. The mission of Centro Civico is to generate unique services for all cultures, to educate the community and act as a vehicle for self sufficiency and growth.
About Ibero-American Action League:
The mission of the Ibero-American Action League is to foster growth and development, primarily of Hispanics by providing advocacy along with culturally sensitive programs and services intended to raise their socio-economic status, well-being and citizenship awareness. The Ibero-American Action league believes equality has no boundaries; therefore, as they have done for the last 40 years, they continue to concentrate their energies on efforts to achieve parity. Ibero is unique in the sense that it provides a full scope of direct services to its target population. Our services cover children, youths, seniors, education, employment, housing, support services for families and individuals, services to the developmentally disabled, mental health services, emergency services and others.
About Hispanics United of Buffalo:
Hispanics United of Buffalo is a non-profit organization servicing the residents of Buffalos West Side and the Hispanic Communities of Buffalo and Erie County. A multitude of services are provided for the social, cultural, educational and economic well being of our communities. All of our direct service staff are proficient in Spanish and English
About Spanish Action League of Onondaga County:
The Spanish Action League, affectionately known as “La Liga,” was established to provide comprehensive services to the Latino community and to address the unique needs arising from the language and cultural barriers since its founding 40 years ago. Their mission is to build in the rich cultural heritage of the Latino community by advancing its independence and growth through advocacy, counseling and education offering a multitude of departments and programs: Careers, Interpretation & Translation, Housing, Domestic Violence, Family Support, and Youth Programs, the Spanish Action League believes that opportunities, economic development and education will bring the community to prosperity as a whole.