Bristol Community College in partnership with DePuy, Inc., Bristol Regional Board, the Greater New Bedford Regional Employment Board, the Tech Prep Consortium, and four local school-to-work partnerships joined the Bridge to Employment (BTE) partnership in December, 1996. The major goals of the program were to establish a solid foundation for long-term collaboration among educators, school-to-work partnerships and the health care industry, and to provide youth with the support and guidance needed to acquire the competencies for successful careers in the health care industry.
The BTE program was the main catalyst in developing a network of communications between educators, hospital health care workers, and school-to-work programs. A solid foundation for long-term collaboration was established through the partnership.
Representatives from the BTE network built a delivery system to provide work-based learning experiences to students participating in the program. This system helped to reduce the increasing demand on health care employers from schools interested in forming partnerships with the health care industry. This BTE program worked directly with more than 40 middle and high schools by sponsoring field trips, health career symposiums, and job shadowing opportunities. It also developed and distributed a College Health Career Directory and offered an interactive health career education curriculum for middle school students, which was presented in classrooms across the Bristol area.