Armine Khudanyan left college in 2009 ready for a career in nursing. But despite hearing for years about a nursing shortage, what she and her fellow Cal State Los Angeles nursing graduates found was a bunch of closed doors.
"In my graduating class there were 10 of us," said Khudanyan, 30, a native of Armenia who lives in Glendale. "Right out of school only three of us were able to get jobs. A lot of hospitals were not hiring, especially new grads."
Through a Verdugo Workforce Investment Board program funded by federal stimulus money, Khudanyan landed a job she loves in the emergency room at Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center.
The workforce board pays half the costs for hospitals to train new nurses, said Don Nakamoto, labor market specialist for the agency. The board has spent roughly $250,000 to subsidize the salaries of about 40 nurses during their 12- to 16-week training periods at Glendale Memorial, Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Providence St. Joseph Medical Center and Verdugo Hills Hospital.