Careers for Rad Techs: Way Beyond X-Rays
Rad Tech Program: Outcomes
(2006 – 2009)
- 146 participants enrolled
- 118 completed training
- 101 received industry-recognized credentials
- Approximately 100 have been placed in health care jobs.
Saline Richards forged a second career as a radiology
technician—or ‘rad tech’—at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Her achievement is noteworthy. Just a few years ago, a series of personal
setbacks left her unemployed and in a frightening downward spiral. Evicted from her home and receiving public
assistance, she needed a new career but couldn’t afford to return to school.
Richards found help through the New York City Sectors
Initiative, a public-private effort to support training programs in identified
areas of workforce growth. Radiological technology was one of them. Advances in
the field, including computerized tomography (CT) scanning and magnetic
resonance imaging (MRI), have created jobs, but workers require additional
training and credentialing.
The rad tech program provides up to two years of training at
Long Island College Hospital. Participants qualify for careers in hospitals,
imaging centers, and physicians’ offices. Richards is one of many ‘second
chance’ students who took advantage of the training programs offered through
the Sectors Initiative which, in addition to radiation technology, include
training for emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics.
The success of the Sectors Initiative inspired New York City
officials to create innovative, one-stop centers for job seekers in industries
needing workers. Well-designed sector programs have been found to be effective
in helping low-income workers gain access to higher-wage, entry-level