LancasterThrivingSummerFall2017 - 44

This article highlights and supports the
work that's being done in the community
to satisfy the Well Being of People
dimension of our Prosperity Indicators.


To solve the issues facing Lancaster County it requires business and community leaders at the
table sharing ideas, discussing opportunities and finding solutions. This article demonstrates how
business professionals and community members collaboratively leveraged their assets to solve a
problem affecting our local community.

Providing the

American Dream


andy Riguera Guillen relocated to Lancaster from Cuba
about a year and a half ago. He had high hopes for
success, but no way of knowing what the move would
mean for him.
What he did know, however, is that he badly wanted
an education.
Enter Tec Centro, Lancaster's only bilingual vocational
training school. Riguera Guillen was able to enroll in the
school's dental assistant program, where he received
training in an on-site facility that simulates a dentist's office
with chairs, machinery and equipment.
As part of his training, Riguera Guillen participated in an
externship at SouthEast Lancaster Health Services, working
under the supervision of Toni Rice, Dental Practice Manager.
The relationship was beneficial to both the student and the
health center, and Rice ended up hiring Riguera Guillen.
"He was just amazing," she said. "All the doctors liked him
and the assistants all enjoyed working with him. He's a great
employee. He got good training, and he was ready to go
when he got here."
Riguera Guillen enjoys his job, in which he takes x-rays,
explains to patients what procedures they'll be having,
escorts patients to their treatment areas and assists with
dental exams.
While training at Tec Centro was challenging because he
also was working 10-hour factory shifts, Riguera Guillen
said the hard work was worth it.
"It was hard for me to go to school while I was working at

44 | LANCASTERTHRIVING! | Summer/Fall2017

a factory," he wrote in a testimonial about his experience.
"Between my school schedule and 10 hours of work, I had
only four hours to sleep. But, I am really happy because I feel
like a professional now. It was all worth it."
Workforce is one of the top challenges facing employers
and it's critical that the incumbent workforce has the
skills (both hard and soft skills) to succeed in the
local marketplace.
Riguera Guillen's journey to dentistry was made possible
by the collaboration of Tec Centro and SouthEast Lancaster
Health Services. These organizations and many others
County-wide, including the Chamber, are working tirelessly
to address the workforce challenges affecting our
business community.
At Tec Centro, they understand that in order to effectively
create change, they need to work collaboratively with local
employers to adapt and change their curriculum to meet
industry needs. And, that collaboration is paying off - as
85 percent of students who begin a Tec Centro training
course complete it and graduate.
Tec Centro can add programs to its curriculum to facilitate
the needs of local employers who are struggling to find
qualified employees. This is particularly true, Marlyn
Barbosa, Program Director, Tec Centro explains, in the
construction trade, which is experiencing a serious shortage
of workers.

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