Lee Education and Employment Program is accepting applications
The Lee Education and Employment Program is gearing up for another round of no cost, medical office skills training.
Applications are being accepted for the April class, with graduation expected in November.
The federal grant funded program gives low-income people the opportunity to raise their income and enter a new career at the front desk of a medical facility, in medical records or in insurance billing.
“It teaches low-income working people to get a better job and move on to a better career,” said Barbara Goins, of Lee County Human Services.
Operating since 1998, the program has graduated more than 300 students into the medical office field.
Goins said there are far more applications than available seats, as each class only consists of 20 students.
The second class of the year, offered in October, takes the same number of students and is equally full of applicants.
The economy has not helped the situation, prompting Goins’ office to be flooded with the hopes of even more job seekers. The number also has increased because more people are eligible for the program who have had their full-time job scaled back to part-time hours.
“There are over 300 people easily,” Goins said. “We always have hundreds and hundreds of applicants, even more so now because of the economy.”
There are certain eligibility requirements for the program. Applicants must provide proof of earned income and a high school diploma or G.E.D., and must pass a basic entrance exam and criminal background check. Applicants also must come from low-income working households that meet Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Goins suspects that most of the graduates stay and work in Lee County, as the program also offers job placement assistance.
Like other industries, Goins said the medical field is experiencing its own downturn in staffing. Though most graduates go into the medical office field, their acquired skill set makes them eligible to pursue work in other fields as well.
To apply, contact Barbara Goins at 533-7902, or apply online via the Lee County Human Services Web site.