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HPOG Promising Practice: South Carolina Department of Social Services, Employment Strategies – Education, Training, and Support

Published: June 6, 2019
Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG)
Technical Assistance

Columbia, SC

An intensive basic skills boot camp helps low-income job seekers prepare for healthcare employment in South Carolina.

Project HOPE, funded by the Health Professions Opportunity Grant (HPOG) program, provides education and training to low-income individuals in South Carolina to prepare them for well-paying careers in healthcare.

All program participants are required to attend Project HOPE Boot Camp. This three-week course combines intensive academic instruction with hands-on training to better prepare participants for employment and increased job retention.

During Boot Camp, students receive basic skills training and an introductory primer on healthcare, as well as coaching to improve various soft skills pertinent to their chosen career path. Trained career counselors monitor and evaluate participant progress throughout the program, helping them to develop individual career evaluation plans (CEP) and stay on track.

The program’s academic curriculum, taught by a team of health science instructors from area technical schools, complies with National Healthcare Foundation’s Standards and Accountability Criteria. It involves intensive career preparation, including basic healthcare courses, medical terminology, computer literacy, and CPR and other hands-on training.

Eventful field trips to various medical institutions provide an integral training experience, introducing students to real-world situations as they participate in simulations that prepare them for their future careers.

Guest speakers educate students on a wide array of issues faced on a daily basis, such as financial literacy, personal health and fitness, parenting skills, domestic violence and abuse, and time management.

Also built into the itinerary is mandatory job shadowing that allows students to explore potential career options by placing them with professionals in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and other medical institutions. They are able to experience a day in the life of various healthcare workers and observe best practices for leadership.

Journal writing, a recent program addition, helps students develop personal reflection and writing skills while helping them to better digest, understand, and retain the knowledge they obtain through training.

The combination of intensive academic preparation, real-world, hands-on experiences, and individualized coaching provide the necessary pillars to successfully transition low-income job seekers into well-paying careers in healthcare.

This Promising Practice was self-identified by the grantee and information contained in this document was provided by the grantee.

Last Reviewed: June 6, 2019