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Confessions of a Bartender

By Dave Herwitz, Director, ABC Training Center I came across a great article recently (Confessions of a Bartender: 10 Things Every Bartender Absolutely Hates About You) on the online version of the Huffington Post which offers humorous but true advice on how to comport oneself the next time you find yourself in one of the city’s drinking establishments.  To our many bartending students, well let’s say we’ll prepare you for all of these scenarios.  And for everyone else, let’s hope you’re not guilty of too many of these “sins.”  The article can be found at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/19/bartender-confessions-10-things-they-hate_n_2719789.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular Questions?  Comments?  Contact us at... read more

Never Missing a Beat

By Dave Herwitz, Director, ABC Training Center As I write this, the Tri-State area is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.  Many homes are still without power.  Parts of Queens and Staten Island look like war zones.  The geography of the Jersey shore is changed forever. Amid all of the storm’s destruction and aftermath, we all heard stories of bravery and heroism from first responders.  No surprise here as these men and women constantly put their own safety aside in order to help those in need.  They’re truly a special breed.  And every day we saw stories on television and in the papers chronicling what they did for countless New Yorkers. However, there is another group of people who I consider to be just as important to the well-being of our citizens in times of crisis: health care workers.  While Sandy was battering the area, thousands of health care workers reported for duty to look after those who could not look after themselves: the sick, frail and elderly.  I’ve heard so many stories of Nurse Aides, Health Aides and Medical Assistants who went out and dutifully reported to work.  Many of these folks pulled double and triple shifts.  Many camped out and slept in their place of work.  Many did so while being away from their own families, who were home contending with property damage, power outages, etc.  And all of this was done for the sake of patients who would otherwise be complete strangers.  To the countless patients and nursing home residents across the area, the continuity of care was there and was never disrupted. Our healthcare workers in... read more

Information is Power

By Dave Herwitz, Director of Admissions, ABC Training Center This month’s job tip illustrates the importance of researching any potential employers BEFORE the interview. OK so you’ve done your due diligence and have sent out dozens of resumes.  Your persistence has paid off because you’ve finally received a call back.  Congratulations, you have an interview lined up for next week.  Now what?  You rest up and go into the interview and hope for the best.  Right?…Wrong!  Your interview starts the second you schedule it.  What do I mean by that?  In a word: research.  Simply put, you should – no, you MUST research your prospective employer.  The old saying that “information is power” couldn’t be more relevant when it comes to prepping for a job interview.  And in this day and age, where information about anything is literally at our fingertips, there is no reason why anyone should go into an interview cold.  Better information gives you better insight into the environment of the facility.  Better information also leads to better question on your part, giving you an edge over others. So what kind of information should you be looking for?  First there’s the easy stuff like the history of the facility, types of services offered, etc.  Then try to dig a little deeper.  Try to get a feel for who the administrators are.  What are their backgrounds?  Their education?  You may be surprised to find out that many have started out just like you.  Then try to get third-party perspectives on the facility.  Are there any reviews online?  How about Department of Health violations?  All good info to... read more

"No Experience Necessary" – A Cautionary Tale

By Dave Herwitz, Director of Admissions, ABC Training Center A few years ago I wrote the following article for a local magazine here in New York City.  It was done in response to a disturbing trend that saw scam artists taking advantage of recent immigrants, specifically from Russia.  Unfortunately, these scam operations still exist and so the article remains as relevant today as it was when it was published in 2007.     “No Experience Necessary” – A cautionary tale about an employment scam aimed at young Russian immigrants. The ad in the help-wanted section of the Russian language newspaper advertised a bartending job in Manhattan.  “No experience necessary” – the ad stated. “Julia,” a 20-year old from Moscow staying in Brooklyn for the summer on an S-1 visa, was interested.  She only had a few hundred dollars to live on for her trip, and jobs were proving hard to come by.  Rent in New York was expensive: she was paying $250 a month to share a small one-bedroom apartment in Coney Island with four other Russian girls.  There was only one bed, and a small couch.  All her roommates worked at what they referred to as the “agency”: a man who sent them out to work in the clubs as dancers and strippers, taking a large percentage of their earnings as a fee. Julia didn’t want to do that.  She considered herself an intelligent young lady, highly educated in her home country, with a talent for speaking foreign languages and a background in several customer-relations jobs at hotels around the world. But she had no green card, no... read more

6 Seconds

By Dave Herwitz, Director of Admissions, ABC Training Center 6 seconds.  Not a lot of time.  It will probably take you 6 seconds to read the title of this blog post and the first sentence or two.  Yet according to research done by the Ladders employment website, job recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds looking over your resume to determine if you are a “fit” or not (http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-04-09/news/31311078_1_recruiters-study-position).  Not a lot of time, is it?  Think about all of the years of school and training.  Think of all the hours spent studying and preparing for tests.  For those of you already working, think of all the long hours put in to your career.   And all you get are 6 seconds to make an impression.  6 seconds to make the recruiter, who has just scanned over several dozen resumes, take notice of yours.  Not fair, but it’s the reality of the job hunting game. Too many people put very little thought into their resume.  And yet it is one of the biggest sales tools in your arsenal.  It’s what gets you in the door, so it MUST be effective.  It MUST make the recruiter say: “I need to talk to this guy a little more.”  One of the biggest pieces of advice I like to give is the “second pair of eyes” test.  Create your resume and have a trusted friend, relative or colleague look it over and ask them: “would YOU call me in for an interview?”  Brutal honesty is the key here.  Tell them to be as forthcoming as possible.  And don’t take offense to anything that... read more

Our Most Valuable Assets

By Dave Herwitz, Director of Admissions, ABC Training Center As many of our friends know, ABC Training Center has been a staple in New York City’s medical career training field since the early 1970s.  That’s a long time in this business and over the years we’ve witnessed countless changes all around us – political, technological, economic, etc.  But all along, we’ve been fortunate to have had steady leadership that realizes that a successful business is one that can adapt and change with the world around us.  Doomed are the companies that are not fast enough to change and adapt.  (See Blockbuster Video Stores, Palm Pilots, CD/Record stores and, most recently Kodak, for proof of this.). And while ABC has been quick to adapt to a changing world, there’s one area of our business that has pretty much stayed the same: our teachers.  Instructors are the number one asset of any school and they are probably the single most important reason why thousands of our students have achieved career success over the years.  At the end of every course, we ask students to write down an honest assessment of their instructors here at ABC.  I’m always amazed at the responses we get, such as: “I have no areas of concern.  When you talk, you know what you are talking about.  Thank you.” “I want you to continue teaching at ABC because you make students successful.” “You treat everybody with respect and encourage us to learn everything.  Keep it up.” “Amazing instructor, need not change anything.  I loved the hands-on and her teaching patterns.” “It was a pleasure to be with... read more

Working Your Network

By Carlton Fenton, Job Placement Coordinator, ABC Training Center Our January job tip speaks to the importance of working your networks and connections within the organizations that you wish to work for. If you follow the advice of career experts, you know to “dig the well before you’re thirsty.”  In other words, prepare for your next job search by continually building and strengthening the relationships within your professional network.  Asking your network for job leads is not a best practice of professional networking.  Instead you should find and assess jobs that you are a match for and then locate advocates to help you connect the dots.  It works like this: once you’ve identified a position you’re interested in and for which you are a solid match, identify your advocates before submitting your value proposition cover letter and targeted resume).  The number one best source is people that are currently working at the facility (H.R. professionals, your peers, recruiters that work with the facility or hospital). Since every corporation has its own culture and processes, business intelligence is the most effective way to navigate the system of gatekeepers.  Accurate information is invaluable.  There are lots of stories about qualified candidates who were great matches for positions.  But these candidates missed out on opportunities because they didn’t present their skills in the proper manner for the target company.  You need to speak their language.  After all, isn’t that what a targeted resume is all about?  Once you’ve identified advocates for a position, you’ll be armed with the information and support system that allows you to manage the hiring process for maximum... read more

Be the First to Get the Interview

By Jay Brill, ABC Training Center Our second installment of our Job Tips series looks at an effective way to fill out a job application quickly AND accurately, therefore getting a job offer sooner.  Here at ABC Training Center, our graduates often report that they are completing interview applications only to find out that someone who has already seen the interviewer has already gotten the job. How do you try to be the first interviewed?  The answer is by completing the employment application accurately and thoroughly before anyone else does.  If you are the first one into the office, you have a good chance of getting the job. Here is how you do it: Get some 3×5 blank cards At home, write down all of the important information you may be required to provide on a job application. Name of the schools you went to and the dates Social Security number References with names and addresses Any certificates or licenses that you hold Former addresses, current phone number, etc. After you are given the employment application to complete, whip out your cards, copy the information, be ready to begin the interview. Good luck. Questions?  Comments?  Contact us at... read more

The Recession is Over! Really?

By Dave Herwitz, Director of Admissions, ABC Training Center So the New York Times reported two days ago that while the recession was “officially over,” average household incomes had fallen more in the two years after the recession ended than it did during the recession itself (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/10/us/recession-officially-over-us-incomes-kept-falling.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=recession&st=cse).  That’s absolutely laughable.  That’s like a doctor telling you that you’re cured of an illness yet you’re still feeling terrible and not functioning properly.  That’s like saying that a war is over but bombs are still falling…I can go on and on.  According to the article, “Between June 2009, when the recession officially ended, and June 2011, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 6.7 percent, to $49,909, according to a study by two former Census Bureau officials. During the recession — from December 2007 to June 2009 — household income fell 3.2 percent.”  Look, this is by no means a political commentary or criticism on how any one party is doing its job.  But when is someone in Washington going to step up, declare and ACT like this a true national  emergency?  Once the envy of all nations, we’ve become the poster child for excessive spending and failed economic policies. Just look around.  When I do, I see nearly 10% unemployment and continuous foreclosures across the country.  There was a time when the people running this country were looked upon as great men and women who were in some way looking out for all of us.  Those days, unfortunately are gone.  So what does that mean?  Well it means that it’s up to you and you alone to better yourself.  Just ask any... read more

Pomp and Circumstance

By Dave Herwitz, Director of Admissions, ABC Training Center Last month, ABC Training Center celebrated a special day when we held our annual graduation ceremonies at St. Nicholas of Tolentine School in the Bronx.  That day marked a huge occasion for everyone involved.  For us as administrators, it was an opportunity to see so many of the eager faces who have come through our doors.  And while so many of our grads have come from various walks of life, they all accomplished the same goal: making a difference in their lives and in the lives of their loved ones by completing their medical career training with us.  There were students from our CNA, Home Health Aide and EKG/Phlebotomy classes.  There were Pharmacy Tech grads as well as Medical Billers and Coders.  For the grads themselves, well, the sense of accomplishment of completing a top-notch medical training course was apparent. The medical career training that they’ve completed is beneficial on several levels.  With the present economic situation, our recently graduated friends have put themselves in an advantageous position to not only survive, but thrive in, the current downturn.  They’ve become a source of pride and inspiration to those who know them.  And as their careers progress, they will only become more marketable and valuable to whoever employs them in the future.  With that said, I’d like to congratulate each and every one of them on a job well done.  Graduation Day at ABC Training Center: one of my favorite days of the year.   Questions?  Comments?  Contact us at... read more

Busting Through a Brick Wall

By Dave Herwitz, Director of Admissions, ABC Training Center Two weeks ago, the US Department of Labor published its latest job report (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm).  My friends, the news was not good.  In fact it was rather grim.  After several months of growth, the economy added only 54,000 new jobs in the month of May.  In a country of over 300 million, that 54,000 number is downright scary.  The job news had an immediate effect on Wall Street as all of the major indexes dipped.  The Dow fell over 130 points just after the opening bell the day following the report.  Couple that with the recent reports that the housing market is still struggling mightily, and the story is even more depressing. That is unless you work in the healthcare field. That’s right.  The lone bright spot in the US Labor Report centered around only 2 industries that actually grew during the recession.  One of them was healthcare.  The New York Times reported:” The biggest gains were in professional and business services and in health care services, which grew steadily even during the recession.”  Think about it for a second.  While every other sector was eliminating jobs, the healthcare services sector was adding jobs around the country.  And the beautiful thing about it is that the end is not in sight.  The job growth is forecasted to continue.  This is something we’ve been preaching for years. According to The Times, Paul Ashworth, chief United States economist at Capital Economics said: “The economy clearly just hit a brick wall.” There’s nothing wrong with hitting a brick wall.  Just make sure you hit... read more

Why We Do What We Do

By Dave Herwitz, Director of Admissions, ABC Training Center There are many aspects to what we do here at ABC Training Center.  Our staff has many responsibilities in addition to running the admissions process of a facility that trains hundreds of students at once all while trying to grow our program offerings and maintain our high standards.  On a daily basis, we’re also dealing with students, staff members, instructors, vendors, maintenance personnel – you name it.  Our responsibilities here at ABC are huge and we don’t take them lightly.  But sometimes it is difficult to see what we are accomplishing here every day. That is until we receive an email like this one below. It was written by a recent grad, Flona Patten, and it reinforces to us what we as a whole love about our jobs here at ABC Training Center.  Flona’s letter helps me realize what a difference we are making.  There are people who walk in here confused and frustrated with the current job market.  And they leave here confident, well trained and ready to take on new challenges.  At the end of a long day, an email like this is just what we need to keep things in perspective and to keep us going! “I recently completed my training at ABC as a PCT.  I would just like to express my sincere gratitude to your establishment, for making available programs such as the ones you offer and most of all, your weekend classes.  On May 1, 2010, I commenced my CNA course.  My initial encounter was with Ms. Ideen Zarkin (Ms. Z).  First impression was... read more

2 Great Bronx Traditions

by Dave Herwitz, Director of Admissions, ABC Training Center Well here we are in mid-April.  The weather is getting warmer (thank heavens), the days are getting longer and just a few subway stops away on the 4 train, the most successful team in all of sports is doing its thing again.  That’s right, the New York Yankees are back in action powering their way atop the American League.  So that got me to thinking about all of the similarities and differences between the New York Yankees and ABC Training Center – 2 great NYC  winning traditions, Bronx style.  A sort of Tale of the Tape, if you will.  Drum roll please…   NY Yankees ABC Training Center Established 1903 1972 # 4 Train Stop 161st Street Fordham Road Uniform Pinstripes Scrubs Biggest Star A Rod A Students Annual Ritual World Series in Oct. Graduation in June Popular Promotion Bat Day Free Book Bag Price/Length Expensive/Long Games Low-Cost Tuition/Fast Training Rookies Train At Scranton Wilkes-Barre Jewish Home & Hosp. Nursing Home Bottle of Water $5 from Vendors $1 from Bush Sworn Enemy Boston Red Sox Unemployment Frequent Procedure MRIs for Yankees EKGs for Patients Nickname Bronx Bombers A Better Career Venue Overcrowded Stadium Intimate, Uncrowded Classrooms Licensed By Major League Baseball NY State Dept. of Education 2nd Home Tampa, FL Morris Avenue Key Pitching Stat E.R.A C.N.A.s Enrolled Fans Favorite Chant “Let’s Go Yankees!” “Thank You ABC!” Reputation Winners Winners                                 Play Ball. Questions? Comments?  Contact us at... read more