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MAC Graduates First Class of Pharm-Tech Students

MAC recently graduated its first class of PharmTech students. Shown are: (front row, from left) Jessica Payne, Irondale; David Sutton, Desloge; Briana English, Potosi; Renee Reynolds, Arcadia; Cassidy Russett, Farmington; (back row, fromt left) Becky Schimweg, Farmington; Mike Ramsey, Farmington; Ernie Nokes, Park Hills;  Erica Johnson, Farmington;  Caitlin Govero, Bonne Terre.
Ten students graduated from Mineral Area College’s MoHealthWINs Pharmacy Technician program on Jan. 18 during a ceremony held in the community college’s Continuing Education Building and attended by 90 well-wishers. Of the ten graduates that night, two already had job offers and three others had job interviews awaiting them at local pharmacies and a local hospital.
PharmTech Instructor Jennifer Majeske indicated that she felt proud of her graduating students, who represent the program’s first graduating class.
“It’s been a great pleasure to teach you in the classroom,” she said to them. “When you started the program, I felt like a new mother. And now, I still feel like a mother, I’m sending you out into the world and I’m so proud of you and excited, but I’m also nervous for you…”
Alison Sheets, MoHealthWINs program support specialist who recruited the students with the help of Missouri Career Counseling Center, told the students she found them inspiring.
“You not only have the education now, you have friends and professional colleagues you can rely upon in the future, and you’re taking with you very good job-seeking tools,” she said. “Your drive to learn, to come here and work so hard, has been an inspiration to me.”
Mineral Area College is among the 13 colleges in the state of Missouri awarded federal funds from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grants Program. The federal awarding agency is the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The Pharmacy Technician program, as well as another program, Maintenance Technician in a Healthcare Setting, started in October. Both programs have been identified by the U.S. Dept. of Labor as fast-growing fields, and are geared to local unemployed, underemployed, low-skilled individuals, veterans and those people who have lost their jobs as a result of their jobs moving overseas.
The program is designed for students who want an entry level position in a pharmacy, and who want to prepare for the National Certification exam offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, which takes place Jan. 23. The lab training and classroom study take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the Continuing Education Building on the college’s Park Hills campus. In addition each student completes an eight-hour weekly clinical in a local hospital or retail pharmacy setting. A new crop of PharmTech students will begin a second round on Feb. 19, 2013.

Future classes are scheduled for June 2013, September 2013, January 2014 and April 2014.
Graduating student Erica Johnson of Farmington said, “It’s been a journey, but a good one, and worth it. I’ve had a lot of support from my family along the way. I did this mostly for my girls, I want to show them you can achieve your goals if you work hard enough.”
Johnson’s brother, Luke Roussin, said he was very impressed with the PharmTech program. “First, it’s tuition-free, and second, it’s only three months,” he said. “And I’m very proud of my sister, it takes a lot of courage to step out of your comfort zone and enter a program like this, and she did it.”
Current health care employer partners for both programs included Walgreens, Mineral Area Regional Medical Center, Parkland Health Center, Pharmax Pharmacy, USA Drug and Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy, Southeast Missouri Behavioral Health, Madison Medical Center, Perry County Community Hospital, St. Joe Manor, Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital and Washington County Memorial Hospital.
To determine if an interested student meets the MoHealthWINs grant eligibility requirements, call Alison Sheets, MOHealthWINs program support specialist at Mineral Area College. Applications for the health service programs are available at  or call (573) 518-3820.
The Park Hills Career Center, located on Parkway Drive in Park Hills, is available to answer questions and offer supportive services to eligible clients and students.  Call the Career Center at (573) 518-2431. 

Mineral Area College • 5270 Flat River Road • P.O. Box 1000 • Park Hills, MO 63601 • (573)431-4593