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Patient Escort Achieves Career Goals

Empowering Candidates Through Community Partnerships

The job seems perfect, and the company appears to be just the place for you. But, as you glance through the job posting, you realize that you may not have enough experience or meet the qualifications to secure the position. Ultimately, you are discouraged and do not apply for the job.

Northwestern Medicine encourages applicants of all skill levels to apply to vacant positions, while also collaborating with community and non-profit organizations like the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership), to participate in the Northwestern Medicine Work-Based Learning Program. The program helps candidates who may not possess all of the minimum requirements for a particular job at Northwestern Medicine receive on-the-job training (OJT), which is the opportunity to acquire the skills for the role while getting paid.

"The ultimate goal is for Northwestern Medicine and community partners to pool our resources and work together to make a difference in the lives of residents in the communities we serve," says Brian Stewart, Recruitment and Community Services manager at Northwestern Medicine.

Joshua Robinson, a patient escort at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, found his job through the program. Robinson, who says he was happy to be hired by Northwestern Medicine, explains that the position has allowed him to make meaningful connections.

"I've learned a lot from this job," he notes. "As a patient escort, I get to see the entire hospital and learn about all the different roles people hold. Everyone is friendly and willing to assist you in any way possible. I love it here."

The Partnership is the nonprofit umbrella organization that operates the largest public workforce system in the country. As the designated administrator of federal workforce development funding for the City of Chicago and Cook County, The Partnership oversees a network of more than 90 community-based organizations, American Job Centers, satellite sites, and sector-driven centers.

Christopher Garcia, manager of the Patient Escort Department at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, has hired a few staff members through The Partnership collaboration. "I've had the pleasure of working with a few of their candidates, and they're great people that are really successful in this department right now," he says.

"The Partnership is proud to have assisted Northwestern Medicine in hiring over 70 individuals since 2020. This could not have been done without the efforts of The Partnership's Hospitality and Tourism Sector Center and Healthcare Sector Center, which has resulted in countless job seekers finding not just a job, but a career," says Patrick Combs, interim chief executive officer of The Partnership.