Training Prepares Adults, Youth for Work
Pharmacy Technician Program Graduate Finds Career Path Full of Opportunities
Maria’s career path had come to an abrupt end. After she was laid off from her office job from an employer that she never thought she’d leave, the single mom spent the next year unable to find work.
“I wasn’t really headed anywhere, and I wasn’t motivated at all,” Maria remembers. “I really didn’t know where I was going before I came to PPL.”
Maria found her way to PPL’s Pharmacy Technician employment training program, a seven-month course that trains participants for retail pharmacy positions. Taught in collaboration with Minneapolis Community & Technical College (MCTC) and Minneapolis Adult Education, the program offers graduates specialized training and college credit upon completion.
“I always wanted to be in the medical field, and I knew I should go back to school, but it costs so much,” Maria said, noting that the cost of college classes had kept her from enrolling before. “This is a great fit, and it’s free!”
It was a thrill for Maria to be on the MCTC campus as she learned healthcare, science, and medical terminology for her future career. A job shadowing internship in a local pharmacy as part of the training became invaluable.
“I didn’t realize how wonderful the internship was until I started my new job. The hands-on experience and the classroom knowledge came into play right away.”
After graduating the program last February, Maria began to work as a pharmacy technician in a local retail pharmacy and is succeeding, taking on important responsibilities, including aiding a new company effort to ensure that elderly patients receive and take their daily medications properly. She is excited to be helping people stay healthy, and be on a career path with growing opportunities.
“Anyone who feels discouraged with their career should get into this field,” Maria said, recognizing the strides that she’s made. “Taking the PPL program helped me get into the career fast and succeed quickly. I feel more accomplished and stable now, and I know that I will be able to provide for my family.”
Training for a First Summer Job
In addition to our employment training programs for adults, PPL has partnered with the City of Minneapolis for a third year to provide work-readiness training for over 400 youth in association with the STEP-UP summer jobs program. STEP-UP matches low-income youth ages 14 – 21 with paid summer internships at local businesses. This summer, PPL is hosting seven STEP-UP interns in a variety of positions throughout the organization.