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Category: Health Train

Congratulations to our Work Train Students!

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • October 22, 2014

CNA Graduation collage

Last week, seven of our Work Train students graduated from Loretto’s Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Training Program! A sense of accomplishment was palpable as the audience watched friends and family members receive their CNA certificates and lapel pins during the ceremony. We’d like to congratulate our seven graduates who’ve worked toward this  achievement since August: Maud Dadzie, Isom Enoch, Ayonna Jones, Anasa Hodge Kitching, Marchiela Radcliff, Shamilka Santana, and Raj Tamang. The graduates will fulfill CNA positions at Loretto’s Cottages at Garden Grove.

Work Train is dedicated to helping employers in target industries address their employment needs, enabling them to actively develop workforce solutions that align with community partners and resources. Work Train is a collaborative consisting of leaders from business, philanthropy, economic and workforce development, training and education, local government, and community-based organizations.  Funding has been provided by the United Way of CNY, Allyn Foundation, Gifford Foundation, CNY Community Foundation, Reisman Foundation, St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation and New York State.  


Introducing Work Train

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • July 24, 2014

Yesterday, leaders from business, philanthropy, economic and workforce development, training and education, local government, and community-based organizations announced a new initiative to create job opportunities and career pathways for low-income residents in the greater Syracuse community. The initiative, known as “Work Train,” is dedicated to helping employers in target industries address their employment needs, and enables them to actively develop workforce solutions that align with community partners’ resources. Work Train builds off of the success of the Green Train and Health Train programs. Through strong relationships with employers, both programs boast a strong record of graduation and job placement rates. Work Train plans to build similar industry partnerships between employers, education and training providers, and community organizations to connect community members to jobs that show persistent and robust demand for workers, as well as opportunities for career advancement. The first industry partnership will focus on health care. Work Train is currently launching a partnership with Loretto to recruit and hire nearly 100 Certified Nursing Assistants by September 2014. In 2015, the platform will spread to other industries and areas of the region.

Take a look at some of our favorite quotes and pictures from the press event.


“We have to fill gaps―make work a reality for the people who need it and the employers who need good workers . . . [Work Train] is fundamentally a collaborative effort . . . to give what seems impossible a possible and positive outcome.” – Dominic Robinson, Director of the Northside Urban Partnership


“Focus on training people to get ahead. . . . We have to look at the employers and know where the jobs are. Having a certificate at the end, and not a job, is worthless.” – Assemblyman William B. Magnarelli


“We’ve placed a total of 38 students [from Health Train]. That’s a 100% placement rate. They all have diverse backgrounds and have added so much to the culture of our organization.” – Kathryn Ruscitto, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center


“We know that growth is always good, but it can come with obstacles. Within four months we’ll need to hire over 100 Certified Nursing Assistants―individuals who share in our mission . . . Our partnership with Work Train made me feel confident that we would achieve our goal.” – Kim Townsend, President and CEO of Loretto


“If people are healthy and self-sufficient . . . the people in our community will be able to live in a peaceful way.” – Frank Lazarski, President of the United Way


“There’s something about Syracuse. You guys do [collaboration] so well―through team work you’re going to create jobs down the road.” – Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy

In the News: Health Train Graduate Hired as Patient Navigator

Written by admin1 Comment • August 13, 2013

“(St. Joseph’s Hospital) has hired three patient navigators who work in the ER with people who come in with earaches, sore throats, tooth aches and other minor health problems that do not require emergency care. Because many of these patients do not have regular doctors or health insurance, the navigators help them find both…”

And our Health Train graduate, Oluseyi Ogundola, is one of the new hires! We’re so proud of him and look forward to hearing about the success of this new position.

Read the full story on Syracuse.com


Photo Credit: Syracuse.com/Gary Walts

Photo Credit: Syracuse.com/Gary Walts

Health Train Participants Begin Internships

Written by Denise Nepveux  • May 8, 2013

Ten Health Train participants began internships at St. Joseph’s Hospital this Monday. By shadowing patient transport and housekeeping staff full-time for two weeks, students gain exposure to the hospital work environment and have an opportunity to showcase their skills and potential to prospective supervisors.

Participants expressed a flurry of feelings in class on Friday:






“Can’t wait.”



Although they may face some anxious feelings, participants are well-prepared. Instructor Matt Centore, an ESOL and Adult Basic Educator with Syracuse City School District, has led them through two intensive weeks of classroom preparation in job readiness, interview skills, workplace communications and teamwork.  Workforce Development Program Manager Danielle Szabo has liaised with St. Joseph’s staff and helped participants put supports in place for successful internship experiences. I have contributed sessions on long-term wellness strategies, back safety, confidentiality and infection control. We look forward to a final week later this month to reflect on internships, consolidate learning, and introduce OSHA rights and financial literacy.

Most Health Train participants reside on Syracuse’s Northside, within walking distance of St. Joseph’s Hospital. Despite passion and varying levels of experience in healthcare, all confront one or more barriers to employment in this field. Some are single parents faced with economic and educational challenges. Others are New Americans who are learning English as a second, third, or fourth language. Some are foreign-educated clinicians who intend to hone their English skills by working in a healthcare environment while studying for New York State licensing exams.

Those participants who successfully complete internships will be offered per diem positions at St. Joseph’s Hospital, with opportunities for full-time positions within six months of hire.

Please join us in wishing our Health Train participants great success!


Health Train Collage 3rd Class

Health Train 3

Written by Denise Nepveux  • April 24, 2013

Last week was an exciting Health Train tryout week! We received 132 applications. Sixty-six candidates interviewed and underwent academic testing on Monday and Tuesday. Eighteen were selected to engage in team communication skills and practical skills testing on Wednesday. With great difficulty, we narrowed the field to ten outstanding candidates. On Monday, these candidates began an intensive 5-week work readiness training program, which will include a two-week internship in patient transport or environmental services at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

This overwhelming display of interest in Health Train is further evidence of the great need in Syracuse for quality work training and job readiness programs that link job-seekers to work opportunities with family-sustaining wages and career growth potential.  We are striving to grow our capacities to serve this need by strengthening and expanding our partnerships with educators, social service agencies and employers.

Welcome, new Health Train students!

Health Train Try Outs

Photo Friday: Visiting Health Train

Written by Stasya Erickson  • October 12, 2012

The 2nd Health Train class finished up last week with a day of sharing stories, dreams and food!

Here’s a quick look into the classroom:


A Report from Syracuse’s North Side, by Dominic Robinson

Written by admin  • June 28, 2012

Our director, Dominic Robinson, is a contributing writer at The Post-Standard. His first article was published today and it details our new workforce training program, Health Train, and how this program fits into our larger hopes for the neighborhood.



“The North Side of Syracuse was a strong working-class community for more than a century. Most residents walked to and from their jobs each day. Major employers, combined with good housing and thriving commercial corridors, created a remarkable quality of life.

The North Side, of course, has seen this quality of life diminish over several decades. Those of us working to revitalize the neighborhood know there are no quick fixes.

It is clear, however, that one of our most important strategies is to once again make quality job opportunities accessible to North Side residents.”

Read the full article on syracuse.com.