skip to main content
Main Site Navigation
Top of main content

Carle Returnship provides a bridge back to the workforce

Carle Returnship provides a bridge back to the workforce
Coming back to the workforce after an extended time away can be challenging, but Carle’s new Returnship program aims to turn it into a supportive and educational experience. 
“I tried to apply for several jobs, but the three-year gap on my resume makes it impossible to answer those standard interview questions,” said Emily Chia-Wei Liang, who served as a Returnship intern.       
Launched on September 16, the 10-week Returnship program is believed to be the first in healthcare.
Lauren Schmid, Carle executive vice president and chief human resources officer, noticed the trend gaining traction in financial and tech industries and thought Carle and the community here could benefit too.
“In HR, we are consistently thinking about creative ways to bring talented individuals to our organization. We recognize that talented people come from multiple backgrounds, and sometimes that includes individuals who have stepped out of the workforce to care for family members or took an extended career break,” she said.
Carle Returnship welcomes people back to work.LouAnn Scheelhaase (at right), workforce development program leader, and Jamie Young (at left), career center specialist, designed the program. Interns spend four days working in their department. Thursdays focus on training and team building.
“We focus on professional skills, interpersonal skills, self-care and personal branding/marketing. We especially focus on confidence building and self-worth,” Scheelhaase said. 
Young added, “Participants get to hear presentations from speakers throughout the organization to learn about Carle culture as well to improve their leadership and communication skills.” 
Of the current Returnship interns, professional backgrounds include education, mental health counseling, project management and economics.
“This program is remapping prior skills into a new environment,” Scheelhaase said.
Scheelhaase expects the program to expand to other departments over time.    
The program is mutually beneficial to Carle and the program participants.
“We hope to gain talent to the organization,” Young said.
Schmid added, “Participants have an opportunity to dust off their professional skills, become reacclimated to a professional work culture, feel better prepared as they explore job opportunities, and hopefully find ongoing employment with Carle and Health Alliance at the end of the returnship.”
Speaking for the Returnship group, Noffsinger said, “We’re excited to be back doing work while also taking advantage of the professional development the program offers.”

Categories: Community

Tags: Carle, Champaign-Urbana, Human, jobs, Resources, returnship, Scheelhaase, Young