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Migrant Workers Turn to Educational Program for Alternate Life Path

4 years 5 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, February 27 2018 Feb 27, 2018 February 27, 2018 9:21 PM February 27, 2018 in News

BROWNSVILLE – The demand for medically trained workers outweighs the supply in the Rio Grande Valley.

A partnership between the Cameron County Educational Initiative and the Motivation Education and Training Inc. are trying a different approach to recruiting that might change that ratio.

The 12-week program turns seasonal and migrant farm workers into certified phlebotomy and EKG technicians.

Patricia Rodriguez grew up a migrant farm worker like her parents but wanted a different life path for her daughter, Maria.

"It's what I wanted for them to start, not like us and be old and still be like us migrating," Rodriguez said.

The pair enrolled into the pilot program. They are part of a larger group of students hoping to make the same career change.

“Once they're out on the field, aside of representing all these program they're representing me. So I want to be the best of me so they can be the best out there,” said instructor Rebecca Cabrera.

Cabrera is tasked with teaching the group skills to become certified phlebotomy and EKG technicians.

Once certified, the students can work in a rehabilitation center, a hospital, a dialysis facility or even a plasma center; some might continue their education beyond the degree.

“Unfortunately we take some families out of that lifestyle and somebody else comes in. So it's a never-ending cycle,” said MET client representative, Sylvia Murphy.

Students and facilitators alike want the program to thrive so other migrant farm families break the cycle.

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