Blossoms Workforce Academy helps budding careers take root

Cutting a ribbon — CEO and instructor Paul Sturdgess (wielding the oversize scissors) is surrounded by his staff and members of the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in mid-December outside Blossoms Workforce Academy in DeLand.

Cutting a ribbon — CEO and instructor Paul Sturdgess (wielding the oversize scissors) is surrounded by his staff and members of the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in mid-December outside Blossoms Workforce Academy in DeLand.

BEACON PHOTOS/JOE CREWS

There’s a new source of training for those in the health care industry and business-safety programs.

Blossoms Workforce Academy started up last September in the Cedar Ridge Pointe plaza in DeLand because founder and CEO Paul Sturdgess felt West Volusia needed more of what he can offer.

Among a lengthy menu of course offerings are nursing assistant training, including prep courses for becoming state-certified; American Red Cross classes in first aid, CPR and Automated External Defibrillators; training for ServSafe food managers and food-safety updates; baby-sitter training and pediatric first-aid training, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training for construction and general business companies; and customer-service training.

Blossoms also provides a facility where students can take state licensing exams.

“Our goal is to support people to make them competent and confident in their careers,” Sturdgess told The Beacon. “By coming here to take one-day or one-week courses, people get more confidence and feel, ‘Oh, I can do that now!’”

Course costs vary, but start at as little as $25; a weeklong CNA course costs $379.

“We work with people to find a way for them to afford it and develop their careers,” Sturdgess said. “Once students have completed their class — whatever it is — we follow up with them and make sure they’re progressing well.”

Sturdgess understands the health care industry well, having started at an entry-level position some 24 years ago, working up through the ranks to management, and now co-owning not only Blossoms Workforce Academy, but also Blossoms Assisted Living in Daytona Beach and Blossoms Care Services Ltd. in the United Kingdom.

At the academy, Sturdgess has a staff of three helping him impart knowledge into students, whom he calls “learners.” Monika Petrakos is a registered nurse and B.S.N. who is the lead instructor for the certified nursing assistant program and related classes; Robyn Dougharty leads the numerous Red Cross classes; and Felix Martinez, the coordinator for bilingual services, teaches nursing classes with Petrakos and translates some coursework into Spanish.

“All of them are very accomplished in what they do,” Sturdgess said. “They’re very competent, and understand the needs of their learners very well.”

Blossoms’ classes are held at its office or at the premises of its community partners, which include various assisted-living facilities, nursing homes, and local job-resource agencies, Sturdgess said. Blossoms also is a member of and works closely with both Chambers of Commerce on the west side of Volusia County.

And unlike many training providers, Blossoms is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“That opens up our programs more to people who are already working,” Sturdgess said. “Our [toll-free] number rings directly to me even if we are closed.”

The company’s ultimate goal, he said, is not only to be profitable, but also to be people-oriented, to help people succeed and achieve their dreams.

“Everyone needs to feel valued,” Sturdgess said. “If you give them a little extra confidence, they’ll go on and succeed.”

Blossoms Workforce Academy is at 2235 S. Woodland Blvd., Suite 104, in DeLand. For more information, call 833-888-7348 or go to www.future4u.net.

 

— Joe Crews, joe@beacononlinenews.com

Rate this article: 
Average: 2.7 (3 votes)