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'It's investing in our employees': UW Health program places entry-level workers on path to success

UW Health offers new path to success

MADISON, Wis. - At first glance, Daisy Guevara’s day goes like a lot of people’s: a little bit of work followed by a little bit more.

But while Guevara’s present looks like this, cleaning University of Wisconsin Health clinic rooms after close, her past and her future is where it gets interesting.

Before she lived here, Guevara was in Ecuador. She still said it’s a beautiful country, and leaving it to pursue her dreams was hard.

“It's not easy,” she said. “Mom and Dad were there, and (to) come here alone, it was not easy. But I have to do it for my future.”

Her future would bring her right back to the UW Health clinic room, this time as a nurse. Her key from here to there is a class put on by her employer: Learn at Work.

UW Health has offered the classes for years. Each year they accept about 25 applicants who already work for them into the program, hoping they come out the other side on the inside track to success at the hospital.

Just like any other school, the teacher leads the class. They go over lessons in personal and career development.

Zack Dachel is one of the teachers, and he has been part of the program for three years.

“Giving people the tools to improve themselves, giving people who might not be from this country or might have English as a second language, breaking down those barriers, giving them the confidence and the skills that they need to really achieve their own dreams is a really important part of it for me,” Dachel said.

The other instructor, Travis Ramage, said the program is something many of his friends ask about. Once he explains, he said they say it’s something every employer should have.

“It’s investing in our employees… and rewarding them for their good work,” Ramage said.

Guevara said the classes so far have gone well.

“Every day it's a challenge,” she said. “Every day it's different, but that's why I'm here.”

The classes will go once a week on Wednesdays until May. Then the class will graduate. From there, teachers said students gain the confidence to apply for promotions within the hospital, and with this on their resumes, they are in the fast track to success.

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