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Workforce Wednesday: Gaith Ghlaim finds opportunities to serve others in Pharmacy Technician program

Sept. 14, 2022, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Gaith Ghlaim’s calling is to help and be of service to others. Since he was young, Ghlaim always knew that he wanted to go into the medical field. Becoming a pharmacy technician is his first step.

Last fall, Ghlaim started the Pharmacy Technician program offered through GRCC’s Workforce Training department.

“I was afraid a little but I was also so excited to be in this program,” he said. “This program is a perfect fit for me and has allowed me to really be helpful to so many people.”

A pharmacy technician is an allied health specialist who, under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, assists in the various activities of the pharmacy department. The 16-week pre-certification program teaches everything needed to take the national Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Exam.

Ghlaim received much support from the program instructor.

“I was always bothering the instructor but he was so helpful. He helped me even when it was not the usual office hour times. He was so great!”

The Pharmacy Tech program is designed in a hybrid model, with both virtual and in-person elements. This allows students to learn at times that are convenient. Most of the program is offered online with hands-on practice in three in-person lab experiences.

Ghlaim appreciates all the support he has received from the GRCC staff.

“When I enrolled, I worked with a career coach who helped me so much. They connected me to the MTEC Champions Scholar grant and I qualified so I was able to take the program at no cost.”

The program prepares students to work in a retail or hospital setting. Ghlaim is working at a Meijer Pharmacy.

“GRCC is so awesome. It has job developers to help you connect to jobs. Sydney Plaggemars has been amazing. I thought that she would only help me while I was in the program but she continues to be a great resource for me.”

In addition to working at Meijer, Ghlaim is continuing to take classes at GRCC and plans to transfer to Ferris State University and become a pharmacist.

Next program begins October 17, 2022. Go to grcc.edu/healthcare for more information.

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