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Below is a transcription of her remarks:
Hello, I’m Dr. Judee Tippett-Whyte, president of the California Dental Association and welcome to this week’s Leadership Corner. We’re excited to announce that training sessions for the Smile Crew of California pilot program are officially underway.
Smile Crew of California launched in October of last year with the goal of creating a pool of qualified candidates for CDA members who are seeking to fill hundreds of dental assistant job openings. The campaign targets candidates displaced from service roles who are looking to advance or re-establish their careers and have the transferable skills to excel as a dental assistant.
The first training session kicked off in late April with more than a dozen participants. The first five weeks of training focused on the foundational education of dentistry while offering participants the flexibility of self-paced online lectures and in-person learning.
For the second half of the program, the trainees have been placed in dental offices and health care clinics throughout the Bay Area where they’ll receive the necessary hands-on training over the next four to five weeks.
Our second training session began earlier this month, also in the Bay Area, with 17 participants.
So, what’s next? We are actively recruiting participants for the launch of the next training session, slated to kick off in San Diego next month. By the end of August, we expect that approximately 60 participants will have completed the Smile Crew of California program and will be prepared to begin their careers as dental assistants.
Finding a solution to the shortage of dental assistants throughout California has been a longtime goal of CDA and we are committed to helping member dentists fill this gap by building employment bridges and providing on the job training materials for our members to utilize in training team members through Smile Crew of California.
I look forward to bringing you additional updates throughout the year. Meanwhile, stay healthy, stay safe, be well and look for your opportunity to build a bridge.
Kerry K. Carney, DDS
Journal Editor in Chief