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MCH builds Bridges with local students
September 8, 2014
The program is in its fourth year in
According to the Ohio Association of County Boards, the purpose of the Bridges program is to provide real employment opportunities in an integrated setting where students can learn about what it means to work alongside of peers and other professionals so they are better prepared to enter the workforce after high school. Bridges seeks to enhance career exploration options and increase employment outcomes by developing a collaborative network of services that will assist students in achieving their employment goals.
From July 21 through August 14, students learned employment skills in various hospital departments such as Environmental Services, Materials Management and Dietary.
In the Environmental Services Department, students were in charge of collecting trash, recyclables and linens throughout the hospital. With these responsibilities, they had to work as a team and prioritize their duties based on the daily census. They also learned about infection control practices such as glove wearing, hand washing and the proper way to handle and dispose of trash and linens.
"I have had the pleasure of working with this program, specifically Dominique and Eric, for the past four years," said Sam Stires, Director of Environmental Services at MCH. "These gentlemen are well-known and appreciated for their hard work throughout the hospital. They have had such a big impact and everyone knows them, including a few hospital visitors."
Job responsibilities in the Materials Management Department included putting away stock, delivering stock, opening boxes and tagging products. In Dietary, students helped with tasks such as collecting patient trays.
Coaches from the MCBDD also assisted students in the work environment. The team providing support for students at the hospital included Abby Arnold, Abby Fisher and Nathan Haley.
"Coaches provide the needed support, such as providing verbal reminders and task lists, so the students can competitively work," said Jenn Coleman, Community Inclusion Manager for the MCBDD. "Our coaches are instrumental in teaching life skills like buying lunch, managing time, being dependable and working as a team."
Coleman adds, "Students gain work experience and form friendships both within and outside of the program. They develop a sense of pride for what they do, earn a paycheck, develop social skills and become more involved in their community."