'Workforce right here within our school district:' Health care company hires recent Martin County grad

The Martin County School District is getting graduates ready for the workforce
Posted at 6:28 PM, Jun 19, 2024

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — A health care agency in Martin County is now partnering with the Martin County School District to hire recent graduates, after seeing a career education program highlighted here on WPTV.

Brian Lopez just graduated from South Fork High School in Martin County. He was a part of the medical academy program there and earned his CNA license, or Certified Nursing Assistant.

Lopez says he wanted to get involved in the medical field after watching health care workers care for his grandfather when he was younger. He enjoyed being a part of the medical academy program. "The hands on, the hands on I would say — it really puts you through a different perspective," he says.

He got his CNA license in May, now all he needed was a job.

"The certification, I felt really prepared for it, I passed it no problem," Lopez said.

Brian Lopez
Brian Lopez says he felt 'really prepared' for certification.

After seeing our WPTV story on the medical academy at South Fork back in February, David Snyder, owner of Evergreen Private Care in Stuart, had an idea.

"WPTV did a special on South Fork's CNA program and I just happened to see it," he said. "I was very intrigued at the idea that we had a feeder pipe essentially of workforce right here within our school district."

Snyder went right to the school board to connect him with the medical academy teachers across Martin County, to get access to a new pool of potential employees. They began distributing flyers at the medical academy, advertising the jobs they had available.

"We were thrilled that he came here and we're so appreciative of the CNA instructors at South Fork High School who are showing him that there are these opportunities," Snyder says. "I think providing care to our clients with residents who are from our community is incredibly important and it's a great thing to be able to offer to our clients."

A student uses a workbook at South Fork High School in Martin County on Feb. 29, 2024.jpg


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There is no age requirement to earn a CNA license, you only need to be a high school graduate, Snyder said.

Martin County School District Superintendent Michael Maine says this is exactly what he wants to see the school district continue to foster in the community.

"If we’re saying they are going to be workforce ready when they graduate, then I don’t want them leaving and going to other towns or locations, we want them workforce ready for Martin County right here in our own backyard," Maine says. "Those students shouldn’t have to go 1,000 miles away, they shouldn’t even have to go 20-30 minutes away, they should be able to leave school and enter into the workforce with a local business."

Maine says seeing students get jobs after high school shows the school district is doing its job. "It means that we are doing what we set out to do as an educational institution — create opportunities for students to get jobs and immediately be able to be productive citizens in society," he says.

Lopez looks forward to continuing his career and education in the health care field and hopes to become a nurse practitioner someday.