Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Our Adult Career Training Program has been engaging Kent County adults experiencing under- and unemployment in tuition-free career training since our inception in 2005, providing a pathway to meaningful new careers and family economic security.

Over nearly 20 years, the program has grown from offering just medical coding to offering three training pathways — Health Information, Pharmacy Technician, and Cybersecurity. The Health Information pathway alone has launched 314 graduates into new career fields. 

And during this time, there have been significant shifts in the economic and workforce landscapes.

With a commitment to remain responsive and provide Kent County families the best opportunities for career and income growth, I’m writing today to share that we have decided to retire the Health Information pathway (medical coding, medical billing, and medical administration) after the current 2023-24 Adult Career Training Program year.

While difficult, this decision was carefully informed by a variety of Health Information pathway factors, including:

  • Declining certification exam pass rates, mirroring national trends; for medical coding, specifically, graduates without certification cannot obtain coding jobs.
  • Post-graduation employment rates have declined while program retention and completion rates remained steady; strong student engagement and success in the program do not always result in employment.
  • Decreased opportunities for externships and social capital building for students — a key element of the program model — due to an increasingly remote career field, as well as changes at partner institutions.

We are confidently investing in the success of our current Health Information students who graduate in June, as well as our 314 Health Information alumni, and will continue to serve as a go-to resource and support for these graduates as they progress in their career fields.

Thanks to your support, WMCAT’s Adult Career Training Program is a transformative resource in our community for adults pursuing opportunity through new careers. With our Pharmacy Technician and Cybersecurity pathways as a strong foundation, together we will continue to build tuition-free training opportunities that connect families to thriving-wage careers and long-term economic security. 

With gratitude,

Jamon AlexanderJamon Alexander
President + CEO
West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT)



Share this tuition-free training opportunity with your network!

Enrollment is now open for the 2024-25 Pharmacy Technician pathway of WMCAT’s Adult Career Training Program. If you know a Kent County adult experiencing under- or unemployment who is interested in a tuition-free opportunity to learn a new career, share the link to apply with them today: work.wmcat.org/enrollment.

The first step of the three-part enrollment process must be completed by July 18, and classes start in September.