Delta Dental Community Care Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of California, today announced it is funding Smile Crew CA, a program launched to foster new employment opportunities in the dental field for California residents. The Foundation is partnering with California Dental Association (CDA) and California Labor and Workforce Development Agency on the initiative, which recently launched in San Francisco and San Diego.
Smile Crew CA has so far provided nearly 80 participants with the opportunity to learn basic skills for a dental assisting career, including dental terminology, HIPAA compliance and infection control protocols, as well as required certifications. After attending four-week “bootcamp” sessions, the majority of participants have been successfully placed in positions or are completing their externships prior to placement. Smile Crew CA is particularly timely since the COVID-19 pandemic recovery has opened opportunities for Californians to seek new job training.
“Delta Dental Community Care Foundation is pleased to support Smile Crew CA, a program that helps people impacted by the pandemic pursue a path to meaningful careers in the dental field,” said Kenzie Ferguson, vice president of foundation and corporate social responsibility for Delta Dental of California. “Not only is this beneficial program getting residents of California back to work, it also honors the Foundation’s mission of improving access to oral health, supporting oral health education and uplifting the communities we serve. It’s win, win, win.”
“The Smile Crew CA program is successfully providing new career opportunities for people who may have lost their jobs during the pandemic, while addressing the need for trained dental assistants to serve the oral health care needs of Californians,” said Dr. Judee Tippett-Whyte, past president of the California Dental Association. “CDA created this program to address the statewide shortage of dental assistants and continue our strong commitment to increasing access to care and supporting dentists and dental team members in their service to the public through innovation in education.”
“The Smile Crew CA pilot program is an exciting model of what can be accomplished when industry, government and community work together to create new career pathways into solid jobs in dental care,” said Abby Snay, deputy secretary for the Future of Work with the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency.
For more information about the Smile Crew CA dental assistant training program, please visit Smile Crew CA.