Healthcare is one of Licking County’s major industries. With continued economic growth in the county, there are many in-demand healthcare positions available. According to the Licking County Works Skills Gap Analysis in 2020, Licking County is home to over 330 healthcare industry employers and over 7,000 jobs.
Licking County Works was created through the collaboration of GROW Licking County, the Licking County Chamber of Commerce, and OhioMeansJobs Licking County. The purpose is to connect people with workforce development resources and opportunities. With healthcare being one of Licking County’s major industries, Licking County Works partners with several healthcare and education organizations to promote workforce development.
Local education partners have extensive programs available for students to receive career training and certifications within the healthcare industry. C-TEC of Licking County (C-TEC) and Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) have partnered to offer State Tested Nursing Aide (STNA) programs. This short-term certification program is often used as an entry point into the healthcare field.
All nursing students at COTC must take the NUR002 class to obtain their STNA certification prior to moving on to the higher-level nursing courses. Their partnership with C-TEC allows COTC nursing students to complete this requirement through C-TEC. The course can be completed at C-TEC in Newark, or at COTC’s Pataskala and Coshocton campuses by C-TEC instructors.
Licking Memorial Health Systems (LMHS) has a long-standing partnership with COTC and C-TEC and enjoys a great working relationship with staff, instructors, faculty, and students. Hospitals throughout the country are suffering from staffing shortages, and the demand for experienced clinical staff is greater than ever. COTC and C-TEC provide high-quality education and training in a variety of healthcare positions, including STNAs. By offering state-of-the-art career skills, both schools ensure that students are directly prepared to enter the workforce.
Student nurses from COTC come to Licking Memorial Hospital to receive hands-on training in a hospital environment. Nurses employed with LMHS also serve as instructors and clinical leaders in classes at COTC.
Two years ago, the John and Mary Alford Center for Science and Technology building opened on the COTC campus. Located on the ground floor of the building is the LMHS Simulation Center – a state-of-the-art, multi-disciplinary health science simulation lab that allows students to experience various realistic medical scenarios in a learning environment.
“We are thrilled to have two high caliber schools in our area that offer students the opportunity to receive the training and skills they need to enhance our workforce and assist in our mission of improving the health of the community,” said LMHS President and CEO Rob Montagnese. “Many of the students who graduate from COTC and C-TEC are often hired by LMHS, and we encourage our employees to continue their education and strive to offer the best quality care.”
LMHS offers a Nurse Residency Program that provides new graduate nurses a transition from student role to registered nurse during their first year of practice. Through the program, new R.N.s can gain confidence through a structured, professional progression into practice experience customized to each individual’s developmental needs to assist in a successful transition to a professional nursing practice role.
Licking County Works continues to develop resources to promote career pathways within the county’s in-demand industries, including workforce videos and other marketing materials. To learn more, visit lickingcountyworks.com.