School District staff members recently enjoyed a “behind the scenes” tour at Renown.
Two of the biggest employers in the Reno area, the Washoe County School District and Renown Health, are working together to provide local students a pathway to careers in the medical community.
Traci Davis, district superintendent, expressed her appreciation for Renown, one of the District’s most critical partners, as she toured the hospital to gain an understanding of the career opportunities and pathways the facility offers for people in the health industry.
Those opportunities are granted both to employees, and local students. Renown partners with the school district to engage students in exploration of health care fields with the hope they will be part of the robust workforce pipeline the hospital is building.
“We want Reno to be a thriving place where families want to move, families want to educate their children, where they know they have opportunities and quality services afforded to them,” Davis said. “As we grow, this is a great opportunity for the district to partner with the local industry to insure a quality community now and in the future.”
On the tour, Davis and the other school district employees in attendance learned about how the hospital takes care of the community — and its own staff.
Superintendent Davis was particularly impressed with the number of different types of jobs available at the hospital, some of which are not in the medical field. As an employer, Renown offers entry level jobs that require only a high school diploma. Once hired, Renown offers staff in-house training as well as reimbursement for College classes as employees grow and advance in multiple career fields.
Some of those employment opportunities include spots as transportation employees, facility managers, food-prep and dining staff, not to mention a variety of professional medical positions.
While touring a laboratory at the hospital, district Careers & Technical Education Director Dr. Dana Ryan ran into a former WCSD graduate, Sean Lacsamana. He graduated in 2018 from the Academy of Arts, Careers & Technology (AACT), completed a CTE program of study in Emergency Medical Technician and enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno, to continue studying toward his goal to be a nurse practitioner. He also applied for a job at Renown and was hired as an entry-level lab technician.
“I love it here,” he said. “I work 20 hours a week and go to school full time. They pay me to work and they are paying for a chunk of my college education.”
Sean told Ryan that his access to the hospital during high school, through an internship program, allowed him to build relationships and network with the people he met. They encouraged him to apply for a job and continue to support his success in college and his performance in the lab. That is exactly the kind of experience that Renown is hoping to foster for local students.
“For many years, we have hosted tours, job shadows and internship opportunities for Washoe County School District youth,” said Michelle Sanchez-Bickley, Vice President of Human Resources at Renown. “Internally, we have built training and apprenticeship programs for our employees to advance through the wide variety of career opportunities we offer. As we look to the future, we see those two programs connecting to create an opportunity for students who want to build a career path with Renown before they graduate from high school.”
It was evident to those on the tour that Renown is committed to creating a family environment and providing the highest quality health care possible.
“Our success is rooted in the commitment to continually improve the care we provide and the health of our communities,” Renown Health said in a recent report to the community. “Renown has endured because we evolve. We remain open to change. We look to the future. We research promising innovations and implement the most up-to-date healthcare technologies. Most important? We seek out and hire the finest in the industry- highly skilled healthcare professionals committed to quality patient care.”
The Washoe County School District has that same kind of commitment to the individual: to enable each student to graduate with the tools they need to make the community a better place to live.
In that way, it is fitting that the school district and Renown Health should be such strong partners in the future of the Truckee Meadows.
For more information on opportunities in how students can get involved in health care and Career & Technical Education at the high school level, visit the WCSD website:
NOTE: This story is reprinted with permission from the Washoe County School District and authors Dr. Dana Ryan and Robin Tanner.