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Learn Where You Earn Program Aims to Fill the Critical Need for Human Service Workers



Hudson Valley Community College and the Capital Region Workforce Development Board have teamed up with social services organization Northern Rivers Family of Services to offer a new “Learn Where You Earn” program to give employees a chance to further their education right where they work.

Starting this summer, Hudson Valley will begin offering courses at Northern Rivers’ Albany location that are open to employees of the Northern Rivers Family of Services and its member agencies, Northeast Parent & Child Society and Parsons Child & Family Center.

Designed to help employees facilitate their ongoing education, the partnership provides eligible employees with the opportunity to earn credentials in Human Services that could open the door to higher pay and promotional opportunities.

The 31-credit curriculum designed for Northern Rivers is also slated to become Hudson Valley Community College’s first education micro-credential. Recognized by SUNY, micro-credentials offer a way to verify that students have achieved specific skills and competencies within an area of study, in a shorter or more flexible timespan than a degree or certificate program. Micro-credentials can be “stacked” as students complete more courses.

Hudson Valley’s Human Services micro-credential will include three tiers: Basic Direct Care Skills, a 10-credit credential broken into four courses; Intermediate Direct Care Skills, a 12-credit credential broken into four courses; and Advanced Direct Care Knowledge, a nine-credit credential broken into three courses. All courses may be counted toward an associate degree from Hudson Valley’s Human Services program.

Sponsored by the Capital Region Workforce Development Board, “Learn Where You Earn” program participants must be considered employees in good standing and have a high school diploma, GED/HSE, or some coursework toward an associate degree. Employees who already have an associate degree or higher are not eligible for the program. Tuition will be paid through tuition reimbursement and scholarships, with the employee being responsible for only $50 of the total cost.

The first component of the program for Northern Rivers employees will be a course in Human Development and the Family, offered Mondays and Wednesdays, May 20-July 12, 2019. Seventeen employees are registered to participate, with growth expected as the program continues.

“This partnership represents an important step forward for Northern Rivers and the entire human services profession,” said Northern Rivers Family of Services CEO William T. Gettman, Jr. “By facilitating new human services education opportunities for our dedicated employees, everyone will benefit—the children and families we serve will receive even higher quality services, our staff will grow their careers in a field they feel passionate about, and our organization will grow stronger as a whole.

“Hudson Valley is proud to partner with Northern Rivers and the Capital Region Workforce Development Board to bring this educational opportunity into the workplace,” said Hudson Valley Community College President Roger Ramsammy. “Partnerships like this are so valuable for all involved—they provide the opportunity for employers to train their workforce and for employees to advance their education. We hope that through our new micro-credential model and more partnerships like this one, we can help tailor higher education to fit the needs and goals of even more members of our Capital Region community.”

“The Capital Region Workforce Development Board, through our network of career centers in the City of Albany, Rensselaer County, and Schenectady County, is pleased to provide coordination and funding for this innovative educational training program between Northern Rivers and Hudson Valley Community College,” said Capital Region Workforce Development Board Executive Director Robert C. Wildermuth III. “By bringing the key partners of business and education together, this workforce development project ensures the continued industry-driven skill enhancement of individuals, showing investment in our human capital of the Capital Region.”

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