Born in Ecuador, Marcia Gonzalez came to the U.S. at the age of 16.
“It was really hard to adjust in terms of culture and language,” Marcia says. “Spanish is my first language. I was able to understand English, but it was difficult to speak.”
So she began to set goals for herself. She was speaking English within six months and graduated from high school with strong grades. Then it was on to Minneapolis Community & Technical College, where she set her sights on becoming a nurse.
Through her college advisor, Marcia heard about a new program called C3 Fellows. Established by the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership (CCAP), it connects college students with employers along the Green Line light rail. The goal is to provide meaningful work experience while the students are in school and build a stronger workforce in Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhoods.
Fairview is a CCAP founding member, and Fairview Vice President of Talent Acquisition Laura Beeth sits on the board. Shawn Vang, from Fairview’s Workforce Development team, meets monthly with students to provide career guidance and advocates for them as they apply for jobs.
Through C3 Fellows, Marcia applied to be a nursing station technician at University of Minnesota Medical Center. Shawn connected Marcia with the Fairview recruiter. Marcia landed an interview and then an offer a few weeks later, becoming one of more than 50 students Fairview has hired from the C3 Fellows program since it began in 2014.
A nursing station tech handles desk duties such as processing admissions, answering phones, and ordering supplies while also getting the chance to work on patient care such as personal hygiene and taking vitals. That gave Marcia hands-on experience in a hospital and helped her establish relationships with nurses and supervisors.
So when she earned her associate’s degree, she was welcomed back. Marcia is now a nurse in Adult Acute Care Dialysis at UMMC and working toward her bachelor’s degree at Augsburg College.
“C3 Fellows helped me initiate my career,” Marcia says. “Finding a job after graduation is difficult, especially in the acute care setting. I never struggled to find a job as a new graduate and I will forever be thankful to the C3 Fellows program.”