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Office of Economic Development Congratulates GrowHire Graduates

GrowHire is a unique job-entry program that focuses on the existing skills and strengths of students. The program highlights and builds interpersonal skills in stress management, teamwork, and conflict resolution. As well as providing support in resume building and connecting students to hiring managers. Upon being hired, participants have the opportunity to join the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), for additional training and education in career development through a joint labor-management training fund.

On Monday, November 4th, The Office of Economic Development Director (OED) Bobby Lee, gave the keynote speech for the GrowHire Graduation at the Swedish Medical Center, First Hill campus.

“Ultimately, workforce and economic development is about people and we’re betting on you,” said Lee to the graduating cohort of GrowHire.

“The healthcare industry is dynamic. Our changing workforce needs to reflect Seattle’s growing diversity. GrowHire is providing that integration, by giving an opportunity to our city’s underserved communities and creating a talent pipeline to jobs in the healthcare industry.”

GrowHire graduates with OED Director Bobby Lee and OED Workforce Development Team.
GrowHire graduates with OED Director Bobby Lee and OED Workforce Development Team. Photoby Jacqueline Wu.

The 4-week accelerated program is at no cost to participants, and provides transportation and childcare to their students.

“I heard about GrowHire from my neighborhood and was really interested to go back to the medical field. GrowHire was the first step for me.” Said Lubab Shateet, a GrowHire graduate who immigrated from Iran.

GrowHire emerged when Swedish Medical Center contacted OED, the Seattle Jobs Initiative, and Seattle College’s Center for Working Adults, to design a pilot program that provides the skills needed for Seattle’s healthcare industry. Swedish’s commitment to providing great healthcare is built on a skilled and talented workforce. As an industry leader and community partner, Swedish envisioned a job-entry program that focuses on Seattle’s untapped talent.

GrowHire connects students with inside tips on how to navigate the healthcare system, direct communication with hiring managers and informational interviews leading to quickly getting hired by Swedish with opportunities for accelerated career advancement.

“I learned a lot from GrowHire: leadership, teamwork, and setting goals for my future.” said Kien Sam, a GrowHire graduate.

GrowHire graduate Kien Sam sharing with the audience.
GrowHire graduate Kien Sam sharing with the audience. Photo by Jacqueline Wu.

“I want to improve healthcare. Maybe someday I would like to be in radiology or a chiropractor”

This recent graduation celebrated the third GrowHire cohort. The majority of GrowHire’s students are immigrants and refugees who bring many skills and experiences from their home countries, adding value to Seattle healthcare industry by better serving our city’s diverse communities.

From this recent graduation, there were 15 graduates and 11 job offers extended after the graduation ceremony.

GrowHire’s graduation rate is 93 per cent; 37 of 40 students completed the program. 9 participants were enrolled for job club to search for additional opportunities.

GrowHire alumni were successfully able to find employment at Swedish and Harborview Medical Center. Both Kaiser Permanente and Seattle Children’s have provided job openings for graduates as well.

“I look forward to joining Swedish and going back to school to develop my skills,” said Shateet.

GrowHire graduate Lubab Shateet connecting with a Swedish manager adter the graduation.

GrowHire graduate Lubab Shateet connecting with a Swedish manager after the graduation. Photo by Jacqueline Wu.

The GrowHire program is a success and the graduates, their work, and their ambition is changing the face of Seattle’s healthcare industry. Thank you Swedish Medical Center, Seattle Colleges, and Seattle Jobs Initiative, and congratulations GrowHire graduates!