NCCC, St. Joseph’s partner on employee advancement

Celebrating a new partnership between North Country Community College and St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment & Recovery Centers are, from left, Alex Parnia, NCCC’s interim VP of enrollment management; Mary Ellen Chamberlain, NCCC financial aid director; Amy Tuthill, NCCC associate director of recruiting for adult learners; St. Joseph’s Chief Talent Officer Katie Kirkpatrick; St. Joseph’s CEO Bob Ross; and Tom Higman, St. Joseph’s director of training/HR manager. (Photo provided)

SARANAC LAKE — Employees of St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment and Recovery Centers will have the opportunity to grow their career skills and gain college degrees through a new partnership with North Country Community College.

This unique educational model will allow St. Joseph’s staff members to pursue an associate’s degree in human services at North Country, receive up to $5,000 in tuition reimbursement and take one-half of the classes during a work day on St. Joseph’s main campus in Saranac Lake.

“This initiative is a new component of our continuing efforts to serve those who work at St. Joseph’s and, by extension, contribute to the community,” St. Joseph’s Chief Talent Officer Katie Kirkpatrick said in a press release. “We recognize as a human services agency that our greatest resource is truly the people who work here and fulfill our mission of hope and healing, and that our investment in their personal goals can also benefit the Tri-Lakes through residents with potentially higher incomes, greater job satisfaction, and enhanced quality of life.”

St. Joseph’s recently received its seventh “Best Company to Work for in New York” recognition from the Society of Human Resources Management, and an important element of this designation is employee satisfaction.

In addition, the partnership represents St. Joseph’s and NCCC’s response to a high statewide priority of lessening the difficulties of attracting and retaining qualified personnel, particularly in the addiction treatment field, in rural areas.

This initiative is also part of an ongoing effort by the college to build and deliver educational programs for adult learners. NCCC recently announced the launch of two online, seven-and-a-half-week programs in business administration and liberal arts that are designed to accommodate working adults.

“The college has been a partner of St. Joseph’s for many years, and we’re excited to strengthen that partnership by providing its employees with an opportunity for professional development and career growth,” NCCC President Joe Keegan said in the release. “St. Joseph’s plays a critical role in healing individuals, reuniting families and supporting our communities. Through this initiative, the college will help build on that mission by creating a pathway for St. Joseph’s staff to gain additional education and training — at an affordable price and on a schedule that works for them.”

The coursework will begin this fall and continue for 10 weeks. Each week, participants will attend one class at St. Joseph’s during a work day and one class on Saturday mornings at NCCC’s Saranac Lake campus. The program will also include online coursework.

In addition to the St. Joseph’s Tuition Assistance Program, which can cover up to $5,000 in education costs annually, participants may be eligible for tuition assistance and scholarship funds through the college.

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