As a recently single mom of 4, I was struggling to find help for my family. I happened to see on the news that OTC was offering this program to help further the education of those that need it. They offered a variety of courses but I chose to go through the CMA program because I knew I’d learn a variety of skills. The class was very hands on and we learned so many new things that we can actually use in the real world. I learned about working on the administrative side of the clinic, along with insurance and how to deal with upset patients, my clinical duties and how to educate patients among other things. During my clinical hours, I was placed in several different departments and got to experience so much that I never could have without the Skill Up program. Within a year I was done with classes, clinicals, and have gotten hired on at a great medical office. I love what I do now and without this program I don’t think I’d be able to work with the prices of childcare. This has really been the hand up that I was looking for.
I found myself with only retail sales skills in an economy that has changed and made it harder to make money with that skillset. I realized I needed new career skills since I wasn’t making ends meet and needed constant help in the form of government aid such as food stamps. I didn’t have any money saved to pay for an education program, previously I had medical issues that were caused by cancer and depleted all my funds. Then I found out about the SkillUp program from a family member who saw a news report about it on television.
I was skeptical about it when calling for information, but the receptionist was very helpful and let me know that these classes would train for jobs that were in high demand. I looked over what was offered and decided on the CMA course due to the diversity of the skillset. It was amazing that I qualified for no charge to take this. I can’t thank those who are responsible for that fact enough.
When I began class I was worried about my ability to learn this very new subject. Again I had only been in retail sales environments and it was really all I knew. The instructor was very knowledgeable in the medical field which helped greatly with my success in the class. It started with medical terminology and then built from there. Online tools and hands on experience helped to teach and retain the information as well. When I went in I expected to learn a new career but I really never expected to find a job that I enjoy doing this much.
At the end of the course, two hundred hours in a clinic are required. In my first two weeks of this, I knew without a doubt this was the career for me. At the end of the hours, I applied and was immediately hired into internal medicine at Ferrell Duncan clinic. I enjoy getting to help people now on a daily basis. I feel I have become respected once again by my friends and family. I have a steady paycheck and job security and no longer have to ask for government aid or help from family members to get by. This program made a huge difference in my life and I am very thankful I got to be a part of it.
The SkillUP program is Missouri’s employment and training program for Food Stamp (SNAP) recipients. The program is funded through the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. The program is also funded through the Administration for Children and Families, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant.