Watching all the suffering caused by the COVID-19 pandemic prompted Lakima Mcilver of Wilmington to jump from her job as a credit analyst to become a certified nurse assistant.
“It’s something that opened my eyes,” she said. “And it’s a scary thing with a lot of people worrying and they don’t know how to be able to help others. I wanted to help. I wanted to give back to my community.”
She is one of the people that a new Barclays grant to Delaware Technical Community College is designed to help.
A $400,000 grant from Wilmington’s Barclays U.S. Consumer Bank will put 200 students in 13 subject areas through intensive training to help them land good-paying jobs in healthcare, education, technology and construction.
The workforce development program will specifically target ethnically diverse, low-income students. Its goal is to prepare them for careers that will allow them to provide for their families.
Mcilver is two weeks into a program that now is studying the body and its various systems, but will end with an internship at an area hospital or long-term care facility.
She’s not sure where she’s interested in working right now, but does know she’d like to go on to become a nurse.
One of the points of the program is to provide the members with things like helping to decide where they would like to focus as well as how to get that job.
DelTech’s Workforce Education director Rachel Anderson said the program will help Mcilver and her fellow students define their career goals.
“This the funding, we’re able to provide additional services such as the soft skill interview development, access and kind of increased awareness of the healthcare field to help us students build those career goals together through a coaching process,” Anderson said.
In Mcilver’s case, she could have finished the 180-course by the end of the year. Some of her classes, such as labs and skills, will be in person. Some will be virtual.
Other programs planned for the grant include community health worker, pharmacy technician, heavy equipment operator, construction technician, training for early childcare, and network +.
The Barclays grant will fund programs at all four of Delaware Tech locations including that at Reach Riverside, which is revitalizing Northeast Wilmington with housing, youth programs and more.
The grant is part of Barclays’ Citizenship strategy, focused on helping to build skills and break down barriers to work to enable people to succeed now and in the future. By 2022, Barclays’ programs in the community will help place 250,000 people around the world into work.
“This generous grant from Barclays provides Delaware Tech with a new pipeline of training to meet critical workforce needs in the state and put more Delawareans to work,” said Dr. Mark T. Brainard, president of Delaware Tech.
The programs will take place over a couple of years, with classes starting throughout those years. That also gives DelTech a chance to recruit for the classes.
Denny Nealon, CEO of Barclays US Consumer Bank and Barclays Bank Delaware, said the company wants to be a force for good in the communities where they live and work.
“Workforce training transforms lives by providing valuable skills that can help people overcome barriers to finding and succeeding at work,” he said in a press release. “Barclays is committed to supporting organizations like Delaware Tech that provide tailored skills training, and we are excited to see the positive impact this program will have across the state of Delaware.”
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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