FAIRFAX, Va. (WDVM) — Non-Profit Virginia ready initiative also known as VA Ready, partners with Fairfax Radiology, the largest radiology practice in the Metropolitan area, to help VA Ready students gain hands-on experience in healthcare.

As a partner, Fairfax Radiology will connect VA Ready graduates with career opportunities as medical assistants, patient coordinators, and schedulers to get experience.

Caren Merrick, VA Ready CEO said, “Fairfax Radiology represents the fact that there’s a lot of healthcare jobs that are open right now in Virginia, so there has been high unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

VA Ready retrains unemployed and under-employed Virginians who have been affected by the pandemic. Although the partnership is fresh, thus far over 100 students have shown interest.

Rick Lassiter, Fairfax Radiology Centers CEO said, “We’re constantly in normal times searching for healthcare workers. Now it’s been exacerbated by people putting off care, and so now with people seeking care, we have more jobs. it’s very difficult to find and recruit radiology techs.”

Lassiter said there has been a struggle finding prepared health care employees.

“We’re going to see how this works the first year but I think it’s going to be very successful and it’s a long-term commitment,” said Lassiter.

Officials said although this is an entry-level program, that will help prepare students to become a physician if desired.