Twenty years after working her way up through medical administration, Leslie Class has come to the Bronx to train people in starting a career the same way she did.
On Thursday, March 31, Class cut the ribbon and officially opened the Learning Curve Career Center at the Davidson Community Center on Davidson Avenue.
Learning Curve is a non profit school designed to train people to go into the medical field, in jobs such as lab technician, medical billing and coding and certified medical assistant. Class expects students to be able to attend with none or very little cost, thanks to grants and funding from other non-profits.
Class, now 37, thinks the school’s target demographic will be similar to herself, about 20 years ago, when she began working at 18 years old with a 2-year-old daughter.
“A lot of students tend to be young mothers, and underemployed,” Class said.
Class originally started Learning Curve in Yonkers as a standard, for-profit, medical job training school in 2007. Tuition at most medical job training schools runs between $12,000 to $15,000 for a year-long program, and Class found that most potential students couldn’t afford to enroll.
She decided to reshape Learning Curve as a non-profit, and began looking for a space to operate in.
Councilman Fernando Cabrera, who played matchmaker between Class and the Davidson Community Center, saw Learning Curve as a way to address both unemployment and community health issues in the Bronx.
“This is a comprehensive way of addressing health issues,” Cabrera said. “And the health field is where we employ the most people in the Bronx.”
Cabrera said he was also impressed with Class’ tenacity when she approached him about finding a space for her school.
Angel Caballero is the executive director of the Davidson Community Center. He was approached by Cabrera about providing space for Learning Curve and said the idea of a non-profit medical job training program fit in perfectly with he wants to do in the Bronx.
“This fell into our lap. It provides the training and will place people into jobs and take them out of welfare situations,” Caballero said. “It shows our youth that there is a way you can do things without government assistance.”
Learning Curve has only two employees, Class and Carol Campbell, a 46-year-old who also has a background in the medical field. Campbell is the school’s director of student services and the two met while teaching at a medical job training facility in Westchester.
Neither is paid for their work at Learning Curve and their next step is securing funding so the school’s first studentscan enroll.
“I don’t sleep much,” Class said. “But this is a passion of mine.”