SCHENECTADY — Amid ongoing efforts to recruit new students and employees, officials from SUNY Schenectady County Community College and Ellis Medicine came together Monday to approve a series of new pathway programs that guarantee graduating students a job at the Schenectady-based hospital.
The Ellis Promise creates a direct pathway into the workforce by guaranteeing qualified SUNY Schenectady students a job at Ellis Hospital upon graduation, building on efforts started by the Schenectady City School District and the college last year to provide students new opportunities in higher education.
The agreement, which takes effect immediately, also directly admits students interested in a career in medicine into Ellis’ Belanger School of Nursing, where their education will be paid for if they spend three years working at the hospital after completing the program.
Officials said the agreements, which have been in development for years, will help keep local talent in Schenectady while addressing long-standing issues of recruitment facing the growing health-care industry that have been exacerbated in recent years by the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic and are projected to worsen in the coming years, according to some studies.
@dgazette SUNY Schenectady, Ellis OK pathway program; Guarantees qualified graduating students job at hospital – 3/20/23 – More at DailyGazette.com – Daily Gazette
The agreement also provides additional learning opportunities, including internships and on-the-job training through co-op learning initiatives and is the latest example of SUNY Schenectady bolstering learning opportunities in an effort to recruit new students and reverse years of declining enrollment that has started to show signs of leveling out last year.
“This is transformational for our students,” said SUNY Schenectady President Steady Moono during a press conference.
Moono was joined at the event by Paul Milton, CEO of Ellis Medicine, and officials from the Belanger School of Nursing and Schenectady County legislator Gary Hughes, who touted the program as a “game changer” for Schenectady County health care.
“We should have done this 10 years ago,” Milton said.
The new pathways build on the Schenectady Promise, a partnership unveiled last year between the college and Schenectady City School District that admits all graduating high school seniors into the college automatically. A total of 131 students took advantage of the program last year.
Moono said the new pathways will benefit all students at SUNY Schenectady and will keep talent local at a time when New York continues to lead the nation in outmigration. He hopes that families residents throughout the county take advantage of the program.
“We know there are certain realities as a state we are facing. People are leaving the state,” Moono said. “We believe if we can talk about this the right way and encourage people that they don’t need to leave the Capital Region, you don’t need to leave Schenectady.”
The Ellis Promise comes at a time when the health-care industry is projected to grow, but medical providers struggle to fill positions, including Ellis.
Milton said the hospital currently has 400 vacancies, including 100 nursing positions. The service sector is experiencing the greatest need for workers, with jobs available in food service and clerical work, among others.
“We want to tap into those people that are out there that may be thinking of another career that may be in nursing or health care, or that junior high school or high school student thinking they want to give back to this community in some way,” Milton said.
A recent report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 13% growth in the health-care-related jobs over the next decade, the equivalent of 2 million new jobs.
But recruiting registered nurses remains an issue, particularly in New York, where a 2020 report by the state’s Department of Health projected a shortage of 39,000 nurses by 2030.
Milton said recruitment efforts have also been hampered in recent years by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, that saw high turnover at the hospital.
“We have plenty of opportunities coming into the future because of the shortage of nurses,” he said.
Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: [email protected] or by calling 518-395-3120.
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: Email Newsletter, News, News, Schenectady, Schenectady County