Sam Podimannil departed his native India in 2009 searching for a land of opportunity in Canada. His family of five was reunited six years later there, but available work fell short of expectations.
In the second week of August Sam and family relocated to Yukon to join extended family there. He heard about the vocational education opportunities available nearby from a family elder, Pastor John Varghese.
Podimannil, 57, and his wife, Betty, 50, enrolled in a 60-hour Monitor Technician course, which prepares students to become cardiac monitor technicians who monitor patients’ heart rhythms. A couple days afterward, the couple’s sons, Johan, 23, and Jason, 19, joined them. The couple’s daughter, Stacy, is a Yukon High School student.
The entire family is expected to complete the course any day. Turns out, the Podimannils found the Land of Opportunity not in Canada but instead at Canadian Valley Technology Center.
“I hoped coming here would help create a better life,” Sam Podimannil said. “We all want to be helpful and encouraging.”
Betty Podimannil was not new to the industry. She was a health care aid when the family lived in Canada.
The couple’s sons are enrolled in community college classes – Johan at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City in the Registered Nurse program – and his younger brother at Oklahoma City Community College in the Physical Therapy Assistant program. The brothers intend to eventually pursue both bachelors and master’s degrees.
Flex Health instructor at CV Tech’s Cowan Campus, Sammie Kimmel, R.N., believes a family that learns together “earns” together.
“They have been so dedicated and hardworking and such a joy in my class,” she said. “I am so excited for all of them to learn a valuable skill in the medical field, and hopefully they will all be employed very soon.”
Immigrant families total nearly 47 million people and comprise more than 14 percent of the U.S. population, according to findings published by the “Current Population Survey,” which is a joint effort between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau. In the Great Melting Pot days of the 1890s through 1910, the immigrant population nationwide hovered around 14.8 percent, according to Census Bureau data.
Monitor Technician is among dozens of short-term courses for adults aged 16 and over. All courses are listed, along with full-time programs at CV Tech’s three area campuses at cvtech.edu.