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College addressing big need

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B.C. needs nearly 3,000 health-care aides by 2023, so a local college with campuses in the Central Okanagan is doing what it can to produce as many as possible.

First College, which is based in West Kelowna, is expanding to downtown Kelowna in January with a campus on St. Paul Street. Three new health-care assistant diploma program classes will begin in early January to coincide with the opening.

“We’re at about a 95 per cent success rate where they’re getting (job) offers before they’ve even finished (the course),” First College marketing co-ordinator Megann Robb said. “So make sure you’re getting your appropriate designations and you’ve got a job.”

Thursday was Healthcare Aide Day in B.C., so First College threw a party on Thursday night at Kelowna’s Ramada Hotel. It invited health-care workers from around the region, including alumni, to celebrate those who are on the front lines. Kelowna city councillor Maxine DeHart was also on hand.

“It’s important to appreciate the people that are already in this career field,” Robb said, “and it’s also important to let others know that this is a possibility for not just a job, but a career.”

For more on this story visit Okanagan Edge.