Project QUEST provides financial resources and supportive services to people with low income to help them complete occupational training programs, pass certification exams and obtain credentials, and access well-paying jobs in the health care industry.
The program includes a comprehensive set of services and resources to advance participants’ education and employment. These include financial assistance for training-related expenses, including tuition; remedial math and reading instruction; counseling services to address personal and academic concerns and provide emotional support; referral to outside agencies for as well as direct financial assistance with household utilities, food, child care, and similar expenses; weekly meetings that focus on life skills, such as time management and conflict resolution; and job search and placement assistance, including writing resumes, interview practice, and referrals to employers. Participants could enter health career tracks, which included registered nurse, licensed vocational nurse, medical coder, and various technician roles. In the first year of the program, Project QUEST paid 100 percent of tuition and fees for participants who pursued training, as well as the costs of books, uniforms, required vaccinations and drug testing, tutoring and review courses, and licensing exam fees. In the second year, Project QUEST paid 50 percent of the tuition fees. Project QUEST also provided funds in both years for supportive services, such as transportation, medical care, eye exams, utilities, and child care; the amount of financial assistance the program offered for supportive services increased in the second year to offset some of participants’ tuition costs. Participants received services for an average of 22 months. As of 2020, QUEST continues to offer similar services to eligible participants.
Project QUEST participants were required to have at least a high school diploma or GED and, at minimum, to test at an eighth-grade level in reading and a sixth-grade level on the Test of Adult Basic Education. Participants were required to attend one of the program’s health care career tracks on a full-time basis. The program was implemented in San Antonio, TX.