Earning an average of just $9 an hour in Dallas County, Certified Nurse Aides (CNA) serve a pivotal role in the health care sector but often live below the poverty level. As JPMorgan Chase’s first investment in Dallas under its New Skills at Work Initiative, Project OnRamp enabled participants to transition from working poor to living wage status by bringing them to higher skill levels.
Through Project OnRamp, Certified Nurse Aides received tuition and books to complete their Patient Care Technician (PCT) training at Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD).
Many elected to complete additional JMPC-supported certifications in medical assisting or billing and coding, further increasing their potential employment opportunities and income.
Students completing Project OnRamp received job placement assistance through the DCCCD Health Careers Resource Center’s office and annual job fair.
A total of 249 individuals applied to participate in Project OnRamp. The majority of those deemed ineligible had not yet completed their Certified Nurse Aide coursework. These individuals, as well as others who were not able to participate in Project OnRamp, were connected with resources to continue their health care coursework or explore other career options within DCCCD.
Project OnRamp accepted a total of 194 students.
Participants included 6% Asian, 54% African American/Black, 26% Hispanic/Latino, 9% White, and 5% Unknown/Other. Of these students, 94% were female and 6% were male.
Upon entry into Project OnRamp, the average hourly wage for participants was $10.81.
162 participants earned their Patient Care Technician certification through Project OnRamp. The average hourly wage for completers is $14.50, a 25% increase in earnings from when they began Project OnRamp. More than 10% of those who completed Project OnRamp elected to earn additional JMPC-supported certifications to further advance their employment opportunities.
An additional 32 students supported through Project OnRamp are currently enrolled in coursework to earn their PCT certification by the end of their year.
What some participants had to say about
“Thank you for giving me the chance to advance in a profession that is steadily growing. I would not have been able to pay for this out of pocket to further my career.”
“I was struggling, working close to 100 hours a week, without benefits, as a CNA. Because of Project OnRamp, I now have a career, not just a job.”
“This project opened doors for me. Since earning my PCT certification, I’ve started a job at one of the largest hospital systems in the country.”
“Now that I’m a Patient Care Technician, I can earn enough to support my family and go to nursing school.”
One-half block from the DART West End rail station