CWI Partners with Saint Alphonsus to Offer Training

Published: November 1, 2018

Local partnerships are bringing resources together and positively impacting the workforce, offering an integrated education and training opportunity to College of Western Idaho’s English as a Second Language (ESL) students. The Environmental Services Pre-apprenticeship class, held twice a week at Saint Alphonsus in Boise, focuses on language and career development, preparing students to work in the healthcare industry as Environmental Services (EVS) Technicians. 

“The demand to hire and retain hospital workers to sanitize and prepare rooms in the Boise Metro Valley is very strong right now,” said Talent Acquisition Partner for Saint Alphonsus Health System, Rance Portenier. “EVS Technicians are critical to the prevention of infectious outbreaks, patient safety, and patient satisfaction. The shortage of well-educated, capable EVS Technicians can be very detrimental to patient outcomes.”

Students in the class receive 80 hours of instruction and training including English language acquisition and literacy, job task and soft-skill training, and career navigation skills.

“Our class is very great,” said student, Linda Akike, who came to Idaho from the Democratic Republic of Congo. “We are so excited to come and take this class because it helps us a lot. We learn things like how to clean, how to talk with the patients – a lot of very important things.”

Pierre Kamergeri, a classmate from the same Central African country, agreed adding, “It will be a foundation for our life.”

At the conclusion of the training, students are prepared to interview for and succeed in an EVS position. Once hired, the students are encouraged to continue training and education in order to move into additional health careers in high demand. Additionally, students hired by Saint Alphonsus will receive continuing education to become a Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Technician, a nationally transferrable credential.

“The supportive services provided to our students by Saint Alphonsus and International Rescue Committee through this partnership have been an example to me of what ‘community’ really means,” said Trevi Hardy, ESL and Pathways Supervisor in CWI’s Basic Skills Education department. “This partnership is providing our students with real-life career and English language skills that will lead to full-time employment with a living wage, health care benefits, and opportunities for additional education and training.”

Thank you to the following Treasure Valley Health Careers Council EVS Project partners who help make this opportunity possible for our ESL students:

  • Saint Alphonsus
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Metrics Reporting
  • Idaho Department of Labor
  • Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
  • Goodwill International

To learn more about the EVS Pre-apprenticeship class, contact Trevi Hardy at 208.562.2014 or

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