Slonim offers keys to building a workforce
Dr. Anthony Slonim, president and CEO of Renown Health, said the hospital has taken an active role in promoting career education for the area’s youth.
“Education as a philosophy is important as a business leader,” Slonim told the crowd at the Business of Education luncheon May 18 at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino.
The luncheon was hosted by the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), with proceeds going to the Washoe K-12 Education Foundation.
The event aimed to address the critical need to develop the next generation of workforce as the northern Nevada economy continues to grow.
Slonim highlighted some of the programs he has implemented at Renown to encourage K-12 students to get into healthcare and implored other business owners to institute similar programs at their workplaces.
One example is Renown has lowered the minimum volunteer age at the hospital to 16, allowing area high school students exposure to the many career paths the healthcare industry can provide.
Slonim himself volunteered at a local hospital while attending Seton Hall Preparatory School in New Jersey. That experience along with a few mentors along the way inspired him to get into healthcare.
“Our experiences shape our future,” Slonim said. “Education is a gateway to that future.”
Renown is involved in sponsorship opportunities such as Principal for a Day, Career Day and Run for Education to promote various career paths at area K-12 schools.
Another program Slonim highlighted was an addition to its Employee Assistance Program: student loan repayment. As a part of the program effective July 1 of this year, Renown will pay up to $200 a month or $4,000 per year for student loan repayments directly to participating financial institutions. The loan must be applicable to a Renown employee’s current role or career path.
Ann Silver, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Reno-Sparks, indicated that two-third of the chamber members were small businesses.
She said the chamber is working to link skills to jobs in the area community. She wants to promote trade education as an alternative for area students.
“We need to remove the stigma of the trades,” Silver told the crowd at the luncheon. “We need to have students value their skills and achievements.”