Married with two young children, Jane Onyinge is a former Minnesota Family Investment Program client who completed a training program at Anoka Technical College and Anoka-Ramsey Community College.
She is among a growing number of Minnesotans who credit an initiative called Minnesota FastTRAC for putting her on a path to success.
After hearing Onyinge talk passionately about her interest in health careers, an Anoka County caseworker introduced her to the Health Care Pathways Program, one of three training and education programs supported in part by the Minnesota Department of Human Services to improve outcomes for participants in the Minnesota Family Investment Program.
Launched in January 2010, FastTRAC now has hundreds of students enrolled across Minnesota in one of 34 unique training paths toward careers that pay a living wage. Experts guide the multi-agency partnership among the Minnesota Departments of Human Services, Education, Employment and Economic Development; Minnesota State Colleges and Universities; Greater Twin Cities United Way; and others.
FastTRAC is demonstrating effectiveness in improving educational outcomes for adults by integrating basic skills education and career-specific training via Adult Basic Education and college instructors teaching together, focusing on attaining a credential, targeting high-demand occupations and meeting the needs of worker-learners.
Onyinge began her Health Care Pathways program by completing 100 hours of Adult Basic Education training, including medical terminology, computer skills and skill-building in research and writing. At the same time, she completed a GED and obtained her driver’s license. A subsequent sequence of academic training and nursing lab work culminated in her successful completion of the state Certified Nursing Assistant exam.
“Thank you,” wrote Onyinge in a letter to people who helped, “you gave me the strength to make my dreams come true.”