REPOSTED from The Times Tribune
By Sarah Hofius Hall / June 29, 2016

MICHAEL J. MULLEN / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Allied Services Skilled Nursing Center’s director of physical therapy, Angela Prushinski, demonstrates a Lite Gait therapy machine with West Scranton High School teacher Brad Turi. Mr. Turi is engaged in a Chamber of Commerce Educator on the Workforce program exposing teachers to details of health care professions.
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A group of area teachers will take lessons learned in health care facilities this week back to the classroom.

Organizers hope the inaugural Educator in the Workplace program will lead to career awareness and connections for students throughout the region.

“We’re targeting high demand, high-growth industry and getting the world of education and the people in those industries better connected,” said Bill Schoen, consultant for Skills in Scranton, the workforce development affiliate of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. “This is the way to positively impact workforce development, so they can learn from each other.”

Ten teachers, from Dunmore, Carbondale Area, Abington Heights, Scranton, Mid Valley, Lakeland, Holy Cross and West Scranton high schools, shadowed employees at area health care facilities since last week. The program ends today, and the teachers will develop a lesson plan on how to incorporate what they’ve learned.

Luzerne County Community College had a similar program a decade ago, but nothing has existed locally since then, Mr. Schoen said. The Skills in Scranton program is funded through part of a $23,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, received through the Workforce Development Board of Lackawanna County. If grant money is available again, the program will continue, he said.

At an orientation day last week, the teachers received workforce data and saw what kind of jobs are in demand locally and the skills required for those positions.

Brad Turi, a health and physical education teacher at West Scranton, who also teaches a health careers exploratory course, followed employees at Allied Services.

On Tuesday, Mr. Turi shadowed speech, occupational and physical therapists. Beyond careers in health care, he said he will tell his students about the other positions available at the facilities — including maintenance, human resources and accounting.

“When I go back to the classroom, this is the kind of stuff I will be able to explain to the students,” Mr. Turi said. “They’ll have exposure to this.”

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