Kim at Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU): Work Attributes Toward Careers in Health (WATCH)

Shortly after moving in with her grandparents at the age of 18, Kim Campbell found out that she was pregnant. She found and enrolled in the Project ELECT program at the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU) in central Pennsylvania. Project ELECT (Education Leading to Employment and Career Training) is a counseling and instructional program providing intensive case management, health education, child development and parenting skills training, and career awareness and job-readiness training to pregnant and parenting teens in high school or alternative settings.

One month before her daughter was born, Kim and her fiancé moved into their own apartment, thanks to a referral from the Nurse Family Partnership. She was hired to work as a file clerk for a doctor, who suggested that a CNA (certified nursing assistant) license would be helpful in the office. Kim’s mentor from Project ELECT, Kim Eroh, suggested that Campbell enroll in the Work Attributes Toward Careers in Health (WATCH) program to help with her CNA classes.

After contacting WATCH in July 2011, Kim began taking CNA classes the next month through Harrisburg Area Community College at The Emmanuel Center in Danville. She graduated in September 2011 and passed her exam in November to become a certified nursing assistant.

“I started my full-time job as a CNA at Geisinger Medical Center in January 2012. I work with patients who have had head injuries and also with patients who are recovering from surgery. Now I have a stable, better paying job where I can give my family what we need. And at Geisinger, there are more opportunities to make my pay even better,” said Kim.

CSIU is one of several Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) grantees across the country. Authorized by the Affordable Care Act, the HPOG program provides education and training to TANF recipients and other low-income individuals for occupations in the health care field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand.