Tri-City Medical Center was one of six businesses recently recognized by state Sen. Mark Wyland for participating in the WorkAbility I training program that partners local businesses with middle school and high school students in the Vista Unified School District.
WorkAbility I is a training program for special education students. Special education students may be dealing with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, difficulty with math and writing or ADD/ADHD. This program is designed to promote career awareness and exploration while students complete their high school education program. Vista Unified High School provides students with opportunities for job shadowing, paid and unpaid work experience ad ongoing support and guidance from vocational personnel.
The partnership with the WorkAbility I program and Tri-City was launched in 2009 as the Student Partner Program. The Student Partner Program is overseen by Natalie Kolodzik, the Nursing Diversity Coordinator, in collaboration with department managers. Throughout the year, the Student Partner Program mentors 20 students in departments such as food and nutrition, in-patient and out-patient physical therapy, wound care center, professional education, and security.
Kolodzik said the program helps students develop skills necessary to be successful in future jobs. Tri-City departments have embraced the program, she said. The hospital’s Food and Nutrition Department hired one of the student partners, who completed the program last year. Kolodzik accepted the award from Sen. Wyland’s office on behalf of Tri-City Medical Center, who was recognized for providing a varied training site, strong mentoring, a structured training process, and consistent follow-up and job opportunities to trainees.