Ronald G. Cantor

Ronald G. Cantor

The Maine Department of Labor released a report this month that projects more job gains in the healthcare industry than in any other job sector in the years ahead.

While many industries in Maine are expected to show declines or only minimal employment growth, the need for healthcare workers is expected to surge, according to the report, Maine Workforce Outlook 2014 to 2024. The state, the report says, will need an additional 8,000 healthcare workers in 2024 than it has now.

Those kinds of numbers underscore how healthcare training and education can lead to bright futures for Mainers in the fastest-growing industry in the state. At SMCC, we are providing the training and offering the degrees and certifications that are essential for professional success in the healthcare field.

Our Midcoast Campus at Brunswick Landing, has state-of-theart health science labs that provide training on the best equipment available. We have had a nursing program on campus for several years, and this fall we added classes in medical assisting, a program that prepares students to be medical assistants in a wide variety of medical settings.

Our South Portland Campus offers even more medical training. In all, SMCC has eight academic programs that serve the healthcare industry: Cardiovascular Technology; Emergency Medical Services/Paramedicine; Health Sciences; Medical Assisting; Nursing; Nutrition & Dietetics; Radiography; Respiratory Therapy; and Surgical Technology.

Haley Rousseau is among our students who knows she will have plenty of job opportunities when she graduates next spring with an Associate of Science degree in nursing.

Haley attended a four-year university for a year after graduating from Brunswick High School in 2009 and then worked in a grocery store and as a pharmacy technician before deciding she wanted to become a nurse.

She became a Certified Nursing Assistant and then enrolled in SMCC’s Midcoast nursing program to put her on track to become a Registered Nurse. After she graduates, she plans to works as a nurse while also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing to open up her job opportunities.

Besides earning a nursing degree, Haley also expects to complete her business degree at SMCC next summer. That will open up even more opportunities on the business side of the healthcare field if that’s the direction she eventually wants to go, she says. Either way, she know the healthcare industry is growing and that SMCC is providing a vital first step in achieving her ambitions.

“I want to take every opportunity I can get,” she says. “Coming to SMCC was the best way personally for me to go about it, money-wise and future-wise, to do the bulk of my nursing education. For me, it’s exactly what I wanted in my nursing school.”

SMCC aims to boost student success, workforce development and the Maine economy. Our Health Science programs do just that.

Ron Cantor is the president of Southern Maine Community College.

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