Program helps student reach toward his dream job

The Norton Healthcare co-op student’s “dream job” is a future he hadn’t even considered two years ago.

Mautrice Jones beams when he talks about first becoming a nurse, and then a cardiothoracic surgeon. The Norton Healthcare co-op student’s “dream job” wasn’t a future he even considered two years ago.

Mautrice joined the Norton Healthcare High School Academy Apprentice program during his junior year at Pleasure Ridge Park High School. During his senior year, he worked as an apprentice at Norton Audubon Hospital.

Before joining the program, everything Mautrice knew about medicine came from the television show “Grey’s Anatomy.” He never even thought about a career in health care, and planned to join the military after high school, or perhaps become a police officer.

“I didn’t really know my options,” Mautrice said. “I always thought health care pertained to doctors and nurses. But there are a million jobs you can do.”

As one of the inaugural partners of Jefferson County Public Schools’ Academies of Louisville, Norton Healthcare has been working with students such as Mautrice since spring 2018.

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Norton Healthcare also has affiliations with Marion C. Moore and Valley high schools in Louisville; Oldham County High School in LaGrange, Kentucky; and Jeffersonville High School in Indiana.

The students in the program receive hands-on training and classes, work with job coaches and learn from various health care professionals about potential careers. They gain valuable work experience as part of a three-tiered approach, starting first as a volunteer, then working through the summer and moving up to an apprenticeship. The student internships are funded through the generosity of Norton Healthcare’s James R. Petersdorf Fund.

“Working with these students is the best investment we can make in our future,” said Jackie Beard, system director, talent acquisition and workforce development. “The Academy students are hard-working, dedicated and have a bright future ahead of them. They will one day be part of our team, helping Norton Healthcare take care of our community.”

Although Mautrice’s dream job is to be a cardiothoracic surgeon, he said that he’s still exploring. Learning more about the health care industry has been one of the best parts of the program for him.

“It’s like being in a different world. I didn’t expect that,” Mautrice said. “It’s a good feeling to be able to see what’s going on and see a side of health care no one else sees.”

He’s most impressed by the teamwork.

“Everyone has their own job. But everyone works together to get the patients better,” he said.

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