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KC’s short-term training leads to long-term careers

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017 10:57 a.m. CDT
(Photo provided)
CJ and William Corbett completed the veterinary assistant and phlebotomy tech training programs at Kishwaukee College in December. Vet Assistant and phlebotomy technician are two of several short-term training programs offered by Kishwaukee College.

William Corbett of DeKalb comes from a family in which working in the healthcare field is common.

Still, after high school, he was uncertain what he wanted to do. He worked as a cook and in security, but neither felt right. Then he discovered the phlebotomy technology program at Kishwaukee College.

“Working security wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t a career for me and cooking is more of a hobby of mine. My family is comprised of medical professionals. Nurses and EMT’s mostly,” he said in a news release. “I felt the same pull they did toward the medical field. Phlebotomy gave me that chance, and I will never regret it.”

His wife of four years, CJ, had held a variety of jobs, from working at Jiffy Lube to pizza delivery. She was between jobs when her husband asked her to come to the phlebotomy information session.

“When Will came out of the information session, he said ‘there is a dog in there – you may want to go see her.’ I love animals, so I couldn’t pass that up and I ended up staying for the info session on the veterinary assistant program and fell in love with the course,” CJ said in the release.

In December, Will and CJ both were pinned after completing their respective programs.

Phlebotomy technician and vet assistant are two of the “short-term training” programs offered at Kishwaukee College. Short-term training are non-credit certificates that prepare students for a variety of entry-level positions in a wide range of career fields: Food sanitation, forklift operator, personal fitness trainer, pharmacy technician, phlebotomy tech, vet assistant and truck driver training.

The programs range from four weeks of training to 12; some require certification testing or other form of professional testing to prepare the student to work in the field. It is a path that results in being prepared for a good, skilled position and can often act as a gateway to further career development. Most short-term training programs are also eligible for financial benefits from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

For Will and CJ, the short-term training programs were a way to be prepared for careers they loved instead of jobs that just paid the bills but were unfulfilling. Each program required working in an externship: at a hospital or clinical site to gain real experience.

“During my externship I realized just how much I love working in a hospital,” Will said in the release. “One of the best parts of the class was watching our whole group grow. We went from nervous students to medical professionals. A lot of that is due to our instructor, Corie Thibeault. She loves her students as well as her field.”

CJ also had a great experience.

“The most interesting thing was when I was ‘on the job.’ We learned how to deal with the animals personally at the clinic,” she said in the release. “Our instructor, Coral Ware, was just amazing and always there to help us and explain everything we had questions on. She was the best teacher I have ever had.”

Both Will and CJ recommend the short-term training opportunities at Kish.

“I have never had a school or class where EVERYONE was like-minded and wanted to see one another succeed like I experienced in this program,” Will said in the release. “I wouldn’t waste time debating whether or not you should go back to school. Kish is an outstanding place filled with people who want to see your dreams come true for you. All you have to do is want it.”

For information on short-term training opportunities at Kishwaukee College, including veterinary assistant and phlebotomy technician, contact Melissa Gallagher at 815-825-9466 or melissa.gallagher@kishwaukeecollege.edu.

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