New Community Career & Technical Institute Students Help in the Fight Against COVID-19
New Community Career & Technical Institute Clinical Medical Assistant students Malika Brown, Katherine Novoa, Blessing Durugo and Ashley Kirkland, left to right, are all working in temporary positions at University Hospital to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

New Community Career & Technical Institute Students Help in the Fight Against COVID-19

New Community Career & Technical Institute (NCCTI) students in the Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) program have joined in the fight against COVID-19 by accepting temporary positions at University Hospital to administer vaccines to hospital staff members in the facility’s Ambulatory Care Center.

NCCTI and University Hospital have a longstanding partnership with the hospital hiring NCCTI graduates to fill a variety of roles. When University Hospital needed temporary workers to administer COVID-19 vaccinations for their staff members, representatives from the Human Resources Department reached out to NCCTI for assistance shortly before Christmas. By Dec. 28, several students had already completed the onboarding process and began their work.

“We are pleased that University Hospital valued the partnership enough to call us,” said NCCTI Director Rodney Brutton. “We were one of their immediate sources for candidates for the vaccine rollout.”

Director of Talent Acquisition for University Hospital Eileen Rowland-Scheets contacted Brutton about the opportunity to see if any NCCTI students would qualify and have an interest. He immediately reached out to students in the CMA program to see who would be willing and able to apply for the temporary positions. Interested students submitted resumes, interviewed and completed the necessary screenings to start work. Seven students are now administering the vaccines.

Rowland-Scheets said the feedback she has received from the NCCTI students’ supervisors has been positive, which doesn’t surprise her.

“My team and Rodney work so well together, there is trust and respect that translates into positive outcomes,” she said.

The students can attest to the positive experiences. Malika Brown enjoys working at University Hospital administering the COVID-19 vaccines. She works Monday through Friday from 6:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is sometimes asked to work Saturday as well.

“I love it,” she said, “Some of the patients are so excited to get the vaccine.”

Brown decided to pursue the temporary position as a way to gain experience at University Hospital. She plans to apply for a permanent position there once she earns her certification.

University Hospital Human Resources Generalist Jeannette Gil explained that working in the temporary role will give NCCTI students a leg up when they apply for a full-time, permanent position since their work will already be known to hospital staff. She said NCCTI students have traditionally performed well in their roles in the hospital system.

“Throughout the years, I’ve hired quite a few New Community students and I’ve received great feedback from the supervisors and managers in regards to the students. That’s why we continue to go back,” Gil said.

New Community CEO Richard Rohrman said providing students opportunities that lead to successful careers fulfills the NCC mission.

“It is hard to overstate the satisfaction all of us get when sending a new class out into the work world. Their training and dedication will surely open doors for them in such a wide open field,” he said. “We need them now more than ever.”

Brutton said credit goes to the students and their instructor whose work ensured they were prepared.

“Students had the entry-level skills, work readiness and the professionalism to take advantage of this opportunity as it was presented,” he said.

Brown said she is happy staff members at NCCTI have pushed her to pursue her career goals.

“I thank the school for giving me this opportunity,” she said. “They’re helping me get my foot in the door at University Hospital and I’m grateful for that.”

NCCTI is an accredited post-secondary career and technical institution that offers the following programs: Automotive Technician, Diesel Technician, Building Trades Specialist, Clinical Medical Assistant, Patient Care Technician, Community Healthcare Worker, Culinary Arts Specialist and Business and Computer Technologies. NCCTI also operates a comprehensive Financial Opportunity Center and Bridges to Career Opportunities Program sponsored by the local and national Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) offices. For more information, call 973-824-6484, log onto newcommunitytech.edu or visit 274 South Orange Ave., Newark.

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