Welfare recipients to learn job skills

October 18, 1994|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,Sun Staff Writer

Public housing residents will soon be learning to transcribe doctors' notes for medical records in a new program designed to teach job skills to welfare recipients.

In a yearlong program scheduled to begin next month, Back to Basics will train 18 residents of Murphy Homes and Lexington Terrace in medical transcription, preparing them for job opportunities at the University of Maryland Medical Center and other hospitals.

"The most valuable social program we can provide is a job," Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said yesterday morning at Lexington Terrace, in a ceremony announcing the program. The mayor's office provided $50,000, which was matched by federal job-training funds administered by the city.

FOR THE RECORD - The spelling of C. William Struever has been corrected for the archive database. See microfilm for original story.

HTC Back to Basics is the city's first welfare-to-work program to teach medical transcription, although other programs train city residents in auto mechanics, geriatric nursing, tractor-trailer operation and other fields.

It was the brainchild of two West Baltimore ministers who took their concerns for Murphy Homes residents to Mayor Schmoke.

"We listened to the people and the people wanted work," said Rev. Althinia Hunt, who, with Rev. Vera Waters, started Joshua Generation Church to serve Murphy Homes residents.

They will serve as co-directors of the training program.

Classes will be held at a Lexington Terrace high-rise, in three apartments that have been transformed into offices and a classroom.

Signet Bank donated $15,000 and 30 personal computers to the program, and local developers and contractors, including Struever Bros. Eccles and Rouse, donated labor and materials for renovation.

Baltimore City Community College will provide instructors, and students can earn credits toward an associate of arts degree in medical transcription at the college. They will be paired with mentors from a local transcription company.

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