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HPOG Success Story: Talana at Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board, Inc.

Published: November 18, 2019
Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG)
Technical Assistance

Talana portrait photoFranklin, CT

Commitment to a fresh start can turn a job into a career.

Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board, Inc. (EWIB) prepares students who are ready to enter the Healthcare field but may not know where to start.

Talana thanks the network of support she found at EWIB’s Health Career Advancement Project (Health CAP) for leading her down a new path in life. She held many jobs, including retail management, banking, and human services. Then, she found herself unemployed, and ready for a change. When searching on her own, Talana was having trouble finding job opportunities in the healthcare field. After attending an HPOG information session held at a local school in Franklin, Connecticut, she saw this opportunity as more than just a job. She felt like healthcare would be a lifelong career.

Health CAP, an HPOG-funded program, brings students together with local healthcare employers to provide free training to unemployed and underemployed residents of Franklin. Talana felt prepared from the beginning of her relationship with Health CAP. After meeting with her Healthcare Navigator, she chose to pursue the path of the Pharmacy Technician Training Program at Yale New Haven Hospital. She appreciated the soft skills she learned in the mandatory and intensive Job Readiness Bootcamp, offered by Health CAP. Talana says that prior to training, “The Bootcamp, prepared me to be a student again and helped me develop discipline such as reporting to class each day and completing daily homework. Also, she “learned healthcare etiquette and increased my networking with other healthcare students and professionals.”

From Bootcamp, Talana moved on to 20 weeks of healthcare training. The first ten weeks were in a classroom preparing her for the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). She passed the PTCB and began ten weeks of hands-on training. All the while, EWIB was there to provide supportive services such as, gas cards, uniforms, books, testing fees, along with emotional support and encouragement.

Talana made sure she benefited from every opportunity by rotating through as many pharmacy departments as she could. To name a few: specialty drug, central, retail, operating room, pediatric, and more. Upon graduation, Talana’s high grades and eagerness to learn led to many job offers. She chose placement in the Central Pharmacy department at Yale New Haven Hospital (Yale). Within six months, she was promoted to Pediatric Pharmacy Technician. She also was invited to sit on the Academic Advisory Council for the Pharmacy Technician Training Program at Yale.

Health CAP offered Talana a holistic support network, increasing her self-confidence, soft skills, and discipline. She carries this with her in her personal and professional life. She lost over 70 pounds, and is taking courses at her local community college as a prerequisite to her long term goal of becoming a Registered Nurse.

“I took advantage of opportunities that were presented to me; I networked with all of the hospital departments that we received work experience in, and learned that there was a career pathway and I could earn more money with more responsibility.”

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

Last Reviewed: November 18, 2019