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Attracting Talent Through Corporate Sponsorship of Learning Programs

Foreword by Debra Truster

With many industries facing a worker shortage in the post-Covid landscape, quality talent has become harder to attract. In the L&D space, we’re seeing a trend toward more organizations offering in-house industry training in the form of corporate universities and upskilling programs. Here, Logan Truster (an 11th grader) discusses his experience with the CAPS program, a full-year intensive study course designed to attract high school students into high skill, high demand careers. Through partnerships with local organizations, students are given the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in healthcare, manufacturing, engineering, or business. Investing in learning programs like CAPS can be an excellent way for organizations to attract and build the skills of young talent who will become tomorrow’s industry leaders.



Hello, I’m Logan Truster. I’m currently enrolled in the GOCAPS (Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Professional Studies) Medicine and Health Care strand. GOCAPS is our regional CAPS chapter, which is a nationally recognized program. It’s an advanced program for juniors and seniors in high school, where they spend half the school day focusing on their career choice. It’s meant to help show students all sides of the industry they plan on pursuing as a career. In addition to the medical strand, GOCAPS offers business and engineering/manufacturing strands.

The first thing you’ll notice is the GOCAPS classroom is a little different from a traditional high school classroom. Our classroom is located inside a local hospital. We get our own space and are free to assemble the tables and chairs in whatever layout we want. The freedom to change the table layouts is quite nice because it gives the space a more organic sense and feels a lot more relaxed.

Another main difference and benefit of this program comes from the 2.5 hours we have of class time every day. Traditional classes at my high school only last an hour and meet 2-3 times a week. The longer class time lets us do more hands-on activities. With GOCAPS, if there isn’t a lecture, guest speaker, or presentation you can do your work in any order. This teaches you how to budget your time, which personally helps me a lot.

In terms of daily classwork, it’s usually divided into the standard worksheets and labs that you’d expect from an anatomy class. The worksheets are written knowledge, and the labs are hands-on activities, such as pinning structures on a specimen. The use of the two learning methods together at the same time is something I don’t always see in traditional classes and is effective at making sure we learn and retain the material.

Along with the actual anatomical, physiological, and general medical professional knowledge, we are also taught universal professional practices such as how to create a resume or how to act at an interview. It’s useful to know how to do these things early on because they’re life skills that apply to getting almost every job. A lot of programs just focus on just the medical knowledge, which isn’t very useful if you don’t get the job in the first place.

On Wednesdays, we complete shadowing assignments at various medical facilities across town. Usually during shadowing, we have a single preceptor we follow that we watch at work and ask questions of. Shadowing is a great experience because you get to see real procedures and patients and learn to follow the real standards for treatment and behavior in the medical field. Something shadowing has really helped me realize is a lot of jobs are different than I thought, which is important when making career decisions. I wouldn’t want to study and get a job that I then figured out I didn’t want, after being hired. This has helped me see all the options available in the medical field.

Throughout the course, we are earning both college credit and industry certifications. This will give me a head start on my career when I graduate high school. Because I will already have many of the beginning classes, I will be able to complete a medical degree program quicker. I would also be able to start working in the medical field immediately, at a higher position than someone who hasn’t had this experience. I’ve made a lot of connections with shadowing which would also help with finding a job.

Overall, GOCAPS is a fun program that not only teaches me medical and professional knowledge, but shows me how it actually comes into play. Through my time in GOCAPS I’ve discovered a lot about the medical field, including some of the jobs that interest me, professional values and skills, and general anatomical and physiological knowledge. This program has helped me make the decision to go into the radiology field once I graduate high school.


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