Lafayette schools recruit hospital employees

LAFAYETTE (AP) — Teacher recruitment for the Lafayette Parish school system is under way in an unexpected though relevant training ground: a local hospital.

Bruce Leininger, school system human resources director, said the focus of the recruitment is University Medical Center, where employees will be laid off and required to reapply for their jobs in late June when a partnership with Lafayette General Medical Center begins.

Employees with at least a bachelor’s degree could become classroom teachers within a year through an accelerated alternative certification program developed by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

On Thursday, eight UMC employees met with Leininger, university officials and Bill Rodier, Louisiana Workforce Commission regional business relations coordinator, about the teaching opportunity.

Funding may be available to help the employees pay for their classes, Rodier said.

“We’re working on a plan to fund the educational training into the new career,” he said.

The employees also may qualify for financial aid through federal grant programs.

such as a Perkins loan, which offers loan forgiveness for teachers who work at high-poverty schools for at least five years.

While there’s an option for UMC employees to reapply and continue working at the hospital, some are seeking other options either for a new career or to ensure they don’t lose the time they’ve built into the state retirement system.

Leininger said the school system will hold a job fair at the hospital April 11 for interested employees.

“We’re helping you and you’re helping us,” he told the group.

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