August 7, 2023
Bringing education directly to East Buffalo's Gerard Place neighborhood is the goal of the Trocaire Job Training Program. Amy Schleicher, Director of Healthcare Certification within the office of Workforce Development at Trocaire College, is making this program a reality.
"It's brilliant, bringing the program to them," says Schleicher. "There's a higher likelihood that individuals will stay in school if classes are in their neighborhood.. If students must take a bus, transfer, or do too many things, then these are roadblocks that make it difficult."
According to Schleicher, Gerard Place and Trocaire offer courses in the high-demand fields of phlebotomy, pharmacy technology, and sterile processing. To date, 39 people have completed or are enrolled in the courses.
Schleicher works as a liason between the students, Gerard Place, and Trocaire and ensures the students have the information they need, that the course is built correctly, and that instructors are in place. She also coordinates clinical relationships. She began working on the program in 2022 when Gerard Place received a grant to conduct workforce training.
Frequently on campus at Gerard Place, Schleicher teaches the section on HIPPA, organizes guest speakers, and distributes award certificates at graduation ceremonies. She witnesses the impact that Gerard Place is having on lives by providing a variety of basic services, including tutoring, a food pantry and providing hot take-way meals.
"One of the things that encompasses the atmosphere at Gerard Place is found on the second floor, where the classrooms are located," she said. "There are inspirational sayings about the power of education and tenacity, and super-inspiring quotes on the walls that remind people their purpose - that they're there to expand their knowledge and their skills and embrace new opportunities."
"I get a lot of feedback that we're making an impact, and we're filling the need for positions out in the community," she said. "The students are really excited because, within three months, these types of opportunities can expose them to a whole new world and launch them into a healthcare profession where they can continue to grow and seek additional opportunities."
She has the students tell her about their ambition to continue their education after completing these initial courses and go on to study nursing or surgical technology.
For more information on these Trocaire programs, please call Trocaire: (716) 827-4310.