The community college and the American dream: ECC healthcare program fits with president’s new college-to-careers effort (Sun-Times Media)
by Emily McFarlan Miller
ELGIN – On a quiet Friday morning at Elgin Community College, Jerry Sanders of Carpentersville was practicing starting an IV.
Sanders, a nursing student, tied a blue band around the rubber arm on a table in one of the nursing classrooms in the community college’s Health and Life Sciences Building. He poked the needle into its latex veins, and red-colored water began to flow from a plastic bag hanging nearby.
“I’m trying to figure out how to get it in there effortlessly. That’s what we want — no pain,” he said.
That classroom is one of ECC’s state-of-the-art new labs; its equipment, one of the advantages of the Health and Life Sciences Building, according to Wendy Miller, dean of health professions.
The building opened this semester as the college’s programs for health professions consistently have seen more students apply than they have been able to enroll, Miller said. And it comes just as President Barack Obama announced a new fund that will help train 2 million workers for jobs in high-growth and high-demand industries, like healthcare.
The president announced the $8 billion Community College to Career Fund last week at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va.
Obama told students at that community college that “the skills and training you get here will be the best tools you have to achieve the American promise.” That’s the promise, he said, that “if you work hard, you can do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college and put a little away for retirement.”
“And the defining issue of our time is how to keep this promise alive today — for everybody.”
Photo credit: Dave Shields for Sun-Times Media.