NYIT's initiative paves pathways to healthcare careers for Uniondale high students


The New York Institute of Technology’s School of Health Professions Workforce Development Initiative, backed by a $250,000 grant from the New York State Department of Labor, has achieved remarkable success in training “underemployed and unemployed” individuals, providing them with essential skills and pathways to meaningful employment. This initiative, which operated at no cost to the participants, has made a significant impact on the lives of many individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Over the course of the program, 150 students — 29 students from Hempstead and Uniondale — have completed training in one of four certificates: Physical Therapy Aide, Personal Trainer, Registered Nurse Refresher, and Medical Spanish. Upon completion, students received assistance in crafting professional resumes and cover letters to effectively showcase their qualifications and experiences, preparing them for successful job applications in the physical therapy space in the future.

“This was about providing an opportunity to students who might not know exactly what they want to do after high school,” said Corri Wolf, NYIT’s associate professor of physician assistant studies. ”And open up their eyes to careers in healthcare and what it is like to be on a college campus.”

One of the most rewarding aspects of the initiative, according to students, was the transformation of skills and knowledge experienced by the students. Many of them, after upskilling through the program, are aiming to secure meaningful employment and gain the confidence to pursue higher education opportunities. The on-campus experience also proved to be motivational for young adults who were previously uncertain about their post-high school plans, inspiring them to consider pursuing a college education.

Notably, the initiative extended its reach to Uniondale High School's STEP program, where dedicated juniors and seniors participated in a rigorous Physical Therapy Aide after-school program on NYIT's campus. The collaboration with the NCC STEP Center of Excellence facilitated transportation for these students, enabling them to access valuable training and ultimately secure positions with Physical Therapy clinical partners.

"This program was truly something new and a worthwhile experience,"said one student. Another expressed gratitude for the opportunity to come out of their shell and gain valuable healthcare knowledge, emphasizing the supportive and engaging learning environment fostered by the instructors.

“We are grateful that these students were able to take this course and get something meaningful out of it,” said Stella Leandrou, the workforce development grant project manager for NYIT.