gmhTODAY 25 gmhTODAY April May 2019 - Page 91

Community Education Focuses on Career Training W ith new leadership and a new location, Community Education has a new mission beyond hobbies and enrichment: careers. Traditional leisure classes have been replaced with skills-based, career-building opportunities demanded by industry, employees and residents alike. “It is important industry understands: we want to teach what they need,” said Community Education Director Susan Sweeney, “And we need their input.” She noted a welding class taught at Christopher High School in Gilroy. The trade skills class caught on quickly, always filled and shifted from an enrichment class to a skills class. Listening to industry, she discovered employees couldn’t read blueprints, make adjustments, and under- stand symbols. Those skill sets have been added to the curriculum. The Certified Phlebotomist training program combines 65 hours of classroom instruction with a 40-80 hour externship. Classes are held on Saturdays, and externships are scheduled according to the partnering labs’ hours. The class has been held four consecutive terms, and it always fills with a lengthy waiting list. Students also prepare for the California State Exam, so successful students can apply for Laboratory Field Services CPT-1. Students do not need to have a background in health education to take the class and become licensed in the practice. Area phlebotomist salaries range from $18-22 per hour. Veterinary Assistant classes, which just concluded the second consecutive term, train in all the components to support animal care under the direction of a veterinarian. Classes meet for 70 hours, followed by a 40-hour externship. Area vet assistant salaries range from $13-19 per hour. “Local vets are very excited about this program,” said Sweeney. Students learn to handle animals, deal with sick animals, prep them for surgery, and care for them while receiving treatment at the vet’s office. It is a serious occupation, and the classes prepare students for the reality of the work. The Pharmacy Technician class trains students to fill patient prescriptions to doctor’s orders. Classes meet for 144 hours, accompanied by 120 hours of externship work. Phlebotomy students take turns drawing and giving blood as they learn the re- quired techniques to pass the class and the state exam. As two Vet As- sistant students comfort Duece, pet of a class- mate, another student takes his temperature us- ing an ear thermometer. Students in the Pharmacy Technician class sort, catalog and inventory a new ship- ment. Vet Assistant students learn techniques for drawing medica- tions and, using sponges and oranges, practice delivering injec- tions to muscle and to skin. The training prepares students who complete the class to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam. Area Pharmacy Tech salaries range from $16-20 per hour. To enroll, propose a class, or get more information go to or email GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN april/may 2019 91