Friday Dec 13th, 2019
Ashon Watson loves his job at Sinai Hospital as an Environmental Services Aide. “This job is a good start for me and I’m more confident that this will lead me to a good career,” Ashon said.
Ashon graduated from high school in 2014 in North Carolina and shortly after followed family to Baltimore. He struggled to adjust to his new environment and faced a lot of challenges with employment and stable housing. “I worked in a grocery store for a while and then I thought I should get certified in something so I went to Job Corps,” Ashon recounted. Neither experience provided the stability that he was searching for.
By 2019 he figured out how to access the network of services and resources in Baltimore and was accepted into the Healthcare Careers Alliance program (HCA).
HCA is a collaboration between Sinai Hospital/VSP and Civic Works and is funded by the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development using federal WIOA dollars. HCA serves out-of-school youth between the ages of 18 and 24. Participants benefit from job readiness training, occupational training, job placement and job retention services. Ashon used the program’s support services – donated clothing, bus tokens, community referrals and mentoring from caring adults – to prepare him for success. He earned an Environmental Services Aide certification upon completion of the program in May 2019.
Outcomes & Benefits
Ashon is improving his outlook on life and is gaining critical skills to advance his career. “I’ve learned the importance of every position here at Sinai. I’ve shadowed employees in various departments and understand how they are each an integral part of the hospital’s success,” Ashon said.
His caseworker Ella Staten had this to say, “Ashon continues to embrace new responsibilities. He is disciplined at work and has really proven himself. His decision to work in healthcare was his best investment for himself.”
“I have a daughter which has helped me to become a better man and the stability I have now has given me hope,” Ashon added. “What I say to my peers who are still struggling is to stay focused and keep in mind what you need to do. You have to keep pushing because it’s not over until it’s over.”
There are multi-levels of advancement within the Environmental Services department at Sinai from Service Tech to Supervisor to Service Manager. Ashon is well-positioned for growth and upward mobility in the healthcare field.