Kathleen Jones' journey is the epitome of upward mobility. Within 2 months, she went from being a Personal Care Aide (PCA) student at HBAS to recruiting and hiring HBAS students for a local PCA agency. HBAS interviewed Ms. Jones to find out how she got there.
Looking for a New Career.
After being in the mortgage industry for 20 years, Kathleen left her job and took some time off. "I was taking care of a family relative who was at home and disabled," Katie said. "I decided I really liked that type of work and wanted to look into a career in caregiving." Kathleen found the HBAS Personal Care Aide class when she received a catalog in the mail.
Becoming a Personal Care Aide
In October 2016, Kathleen became a student in the very first PCA class at HBAS. Kathleen was thrilled with the PCA class, and especially the instructor, Alan Bell. Katie described Alan as a "hands-on, and a visual teacher. It was a very fun and interactive environment. Everybody wanted to learn, and he made it interesting. We learned so much in such a short period of time."
Hired on the Spot
When nearing the end of the 2-month PCA course, HBAS Job Developer Arlene Flores visited Kathleen's class. Katie said, "Arlene came to offer help with our resumes and practicing job interviews. She then arranged for a couple of home care companies to interview us. Even after class ended, Arlene continued to send us job leads." In December 2016, Kathleen finished the PCA course and was hired by a local home care agency. She was immediately grateful for her training, realizing that she was entering the field far with far more preparation than the average applicant.
Moving on Up
Within 2 months at her new job, Kathleen had already secured a promotion. Katie explained that "when a position of Case Coordinator became available, I asked if I could apply. I had administrative experience. I was hired for the position in February 2017." As Case Coordinator, Kathleen now hires and supports caregivers, manages cases and makes client visits. Her experience has truly come full circle, as she now coordinates with Arlene to interview and hire PCA students from very program she completed!
View from the Other Side
As a recruiter of personal care aides, Kathleen has a unique perspective on the value of the PCA Program at HBAS. With 80 hours of high quality training, our students are among the most qualified and prepared candidates she comes across. Katie asserted that "If HBAS students are qualified and interview well, we'll be hiring them. There is a high demand for caregivers, especially with that training. I can't hire enough people to fill our need."
A Career in Helping People
So now for the most important question: does Kathleen like her job? Katie replied enthusiastically, "I love my job. I love interacting with clients and caregivers. We're helping people."
At HBAS, we are proud of Katie and all of our students who have been hired out of our PCA Program. We are proud to offer a career program with a job at the end.
Are you or someone you know interested in the personal care and home health field? Our next PCA class starts September 11th, 2017. Learn more about the PCA Program here.