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21 May 2020

HACC Adds Contact Tracing to Meet Community Need

HARRISBURG, Pa. – HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, will offer a fully remote Contact Tracer Training Program starting June 8, 2020, to meet the demand caused by the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
 
“We responded to Governor Wolf’s call to action for a corps of civilians by developing this comprehensive training program to prepare students to properly trace contacts between people to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. This program provides an opportunity for employment for hospitality workers and others who suddenly found themselves without jobs as businesses were shuttered and people sheltered in place,” said John J. “Ski” Sygielski, Ed.D., MBA, HACC president and CEO.
 
“This program is for anyone who has a passion for health care but does not have the requisite medical background to become a contact tracer. To enroll, a student must be 18 or older, have a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma and pass a mandated Pennsylvania background check. Eligible applicants will receive funding from SCPa Works for the $429 cost of the course,” Sygielski said.
 
“At SCPa Works, we are always looking for in-demand training. In our COVID-19 world, a contact tracer is not only an excellent foundational career pathway but an essential service to our community,” said Mike Barba, director of programs at SCPa Works.
 
“This opportunity is for anyone who has recently been laid off, but the first step is to enroll in Pennsylvania CareerLink® services. The program is free upon successful enrollment,” Barba said.
 
A contact tracer can make between $17 and $22 per hour, according to Business Insider.
 
Contact Tracing as a Key Strategy
 
Contact tracing, a core disease control measure employed by local and state health department personnel for decades, is a key strategy for preventing further spread of the coronavirus. According to the National Association of County and City Health Officials, 15 health workers per 100,000 people is a baseline number during normal times, and during a pandemic, this number should double to 30 contact tracers per 100,000 people. 

HACC is offering the 45-hour, four-week Contact Tracer Training Program in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Training will be presented in a blended format, including instructor-led classes conducted remotely via Zoom technology and online components that include the basics of the global coronavirus pandemic, contact tracer requirements and protocol, and health information protection and patient privacy. In addition, students will engage in various role-playing scenarios for contact tracing, customer service and cultural sensitivity. Those who successfully complete the program will earn a HACC certificate of completion.

HACC’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education Division developed the program in consultation with Srikanta (Sri) Banerjee, M.D., Ph.D., of Lancaster, a Johns Hopkins University-trained epidemiologist and a nationally certified public health consultant.

Enrollment is being accepted for the class that starts June 8, with additional start dates every two weeks.
Jobseekers who want more information about SCPa Works funding, please contact the Pennsylvania CareerLink® in your county:
 
County Phone Number
Adams 215-948-4110
Cumberland 215-948-4111
Dauphin 215-948-4113
Franklin 215-948-4110
Juniata 215-948-4114
Lebanon 215-948-4112
Perry 215-948-4114
York 347-308-5046

Employers who want more information about SCPa Works, please contact Mike Barba at mbarba@scpaworks.org.

For more information about the Contact Tracer Training Program, please contact Abby Peslis, HACC director of corporate and business services, at alpeslis@hacc.edu.

For all media inquiries, please contact newsroom@hacc.edu.

About HACC
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, is the first and largest of Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges. HACC offers approximately 100 career and transfer associate degree, certificate and diploma programs to approximately 19,000 students. Also, the College serves students at its Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York campuses; through virtual learning; and via workforce development and continuing education training. For more information on how HACC is uniquely YOURS, visit hacc.edu. Also, follow us on Twitter (@HACC_info), follow us on Instagram (@HACC_edu), like us on Facebook (Facebook.com/HACC64) and use #HACCNews.
 

Contact(s):
For further information, please contact newsroom@hacc.edu.

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