Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies-McNeil Healthcare LLC launched the Bridge to Employment (BTE) Program for 50 sophomores in the Florencia García high school in Las Piedras, the company announced.
“The Bridge to Employment Program is part of our Early Talent Strategy to engage youths with the life sciences manufacturing sector,” said Caroline Ocasio, acting general manager of the McNeil Consumer Healthcare LLC plant in Las Piedras.
The program, a Johnson & Johnson initiative launched in 1992, helps young people build solid futures by introducing them to a broad array of careers in science, technology and healthcare.
Johnson & Johnson partners with FHI 360 to manage the program worldwide while in Puerto Rico the program is supported by ASPIRA, a non-profit organization that works with youth and education.
“At ASPIRA Puerto Rico we are proud to continue with our partnership with Johnson & Johnson, on this occasion with McNeil at Las Piedras,” said Adalexis Ríos, Executive Director of ASPIRA.
“I am certain that the experience of these 50 youths from the Florencia García high school will contribute to their academic performance, develop problem solving skills and motivate them to consider STEM and health-related careers,” she said.
“The Bridge to Employment program contributes to their social and emotional development as well as forges ecological awareness and social responsibility among the participants,” Ríos added.
The program provides mentoring and special attention to the selected students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and follows their progress from the 10th grade until they graduate. The program also focuses on developing self-esteem, leadership and collaboration among the selected students.
“This is part of our credo responsibility to serve our communities by helping young people realize they have access to a broader scope of careers as we introduce them to these fields and help them develop their leadership skills,” Ocasio said.
McNeil reached an agreement with the Puerto Rico Department of Education to launch the BTE program for the selected public school students.
The program includes the collaboration of Education, University of Turabo, University of Puerto Rico-Humacao campus, ASPIRA and McNeil employees who serve as volunteer mentors.