Art Lauter possesses an immense amount of medical knowledge and has gladly shared this expertise with his students at the New Millennium Training Center. Yet, his students — who affectionally call the director and owner of the Ocean Breeze center “Mr. Art” – may know him best as a trusted advisor who continually looks after their best interests.
Lauter has developed a reputation as a strong mentor who assists his students every step of the way by preparing them for their state license and national accrediting exams as well as job interviews.
“I know who’s going on that job interview today. I can picture them on the interview. I’ve taught them what to say, how to look, and how to make eye contact,” he says.
For his impact to thousands of medical professionals – including a host of multi-generational students – Lauter is being honored with a Louis R. Miller Leadership Award, which he will receive in the Master Businessperson category. The awards – which are presented by the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and the Staten Island Advance — honor the memory of Louis R. Miller, a businessman and West Brighton resident who was also a community leader.
Although Lauter has so much passion for his job, it’s interesting to note how he reached this path.
Between active duty and the reserves, the Richmondtown resident served in the United States Army from 1969-1987 in various medical roles, including a combat medic and operating room specialist with a MASH Unit. However, the idea of preparing people for a career in the medical profession wasn’t what he had in mind when he left the reserves, and his mother was diagnosed with kidney failure and required dialysis.
His mother recognized the high costs involved with hiring her aides and matter-of-factly asked Lauter why he couldn’t start a business in this field since he had extensive experience training hundreds of soldiers for medical jobs in the Army.
“One of the things about being in the military is that at an early age, if you decide to stay once your enlistment is up, you think about things that will affect your future,” said the 70-year-old. “With my mom’s failing health, that’s when I decided to open a home care agency called Careful Steps Home Care.”
Although there were four larger home care agencies already on Staten Island, Lauter wasn’t deterred as “the new kid on the block.” He stood out right away when he decided to be the first agency to provide aides on Saturdays. Lauter also realized location was just as important, which is why he immediately found office space down the block from Staten Island University Hospital in Ocean Breeze to be close to top medical decision-makers.
While those decisions paid off, Lauter wanted to do more in that field, so he established a certified home health aide training center on New Dorp Plaza. After 18 years of success in that endeavor, he decided to try something new and opened the New Millennium Training Center in Bay Ridge in 1998 for certified medical and nursing assistants. After a few years in Brooklyn, Lauter relocated back to the Ocean Breeze office. He renovated the space to accommodate classroom instruction and continues in that location for almost 15 years now.
While Lauter is extremely proud of his students’ accomplishments, he credits his longevity to the same as other successful businesses: Good service; good marketing, advertising, and word of mouth; and a good product that people talk about.
That longevity may seem like an afterthought now, but things weren’t easy in the beginning, especially with the process of navigating through all the rules and regulations from the various city and state agencies. However, Lauter leaned on his military-inspired work ethic to overcome adversity.
“I think the key to my growth was that I couldn’t afford to quit. I was never one of those people who could quit,” he said. “If it meant I couldn’t pay myself, then that’s what you do when you’re in business. If it meant being at work every morning at 7 o’clock, then that’s where I needed to be. If my kids asked, ‘Dad, when are you coming home?’ I would tell them, ‘I’ll come home when I’m finished for the day.’”
The New Millennium Training Center boasts a high success rate for job placement assistance since hiring managers and agencies have developed strong relationships with Lauter and make interview requests since they know his graduates are attractive candidates for local job openings.
And while New Millennium Training Center is flourishing, Lauter still feels there’s even more students available to train as his current dream is to start a licensed practical nurse (LPN) program in the borough. With “hundreds already on a waiting list,” he knows he can impact even more lives.
“From this small location, I’ve really spawned an awfully lot of success stories,” says Lauter.
Recipients of the Louis R. Miller Awards are recognized as effective business leaders, and for their outstanding contributions to the local community. Awards are given out in four categories: Emerging, Established, Master, and Not-For-Profit. The honorees will be recognized during the annual Louis R. Miller Business Leadership Awards Breakfast on Thursday, Feb. 13 at LiGreci’s Staaten. For tickets, visit www.sichamber.com or call the Chamber at 718-727-1900.
Below, Lauter shares more about his goals, job, and life:
Current occupation AND title: Director and Owner of The New Millennium Training Center in Ocean Breeze, which is a New York State-licensed trade school. I have been training Certified Nursing Aides and Medical Assistants for over 20 years.
Past occupation/s and titles: Former owner of Careful Steps Home Health Care Agency. NYS licensed Teacher with MS in Special Education. US Army Combat Medic, Operating Room Specialist, and Commissioned Officer
US Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Community involvement: South Shore Rotary Club. Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. New York Coalition of Career Schools. American Legion. Marine Corps League. Former Board of Directors at Meal on Wheels of Staten Island. New York City Homecare Association.
Some of my life goals include: To eventually open a Licensed Practical Nursing Program.
The best part of my job: Helping people start new careers.
My life philosophy: Keep showing up and keep both oars in the water and keep on rowing.
I am most proud of: Placing thousands of graduates into full-time jobs with benefits. I wrote, sang, and produced the country song, “Pride of the Marines,” which has been shared thousands of times on the Marine Corps website and www.numberonemusic.com and has been No. 1 in New York State.
Something that no one knows about me: I donate to Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help kids with cancer.
The quality I like best about myself: My great sense of humor.
Personal interests and hobbies: Singer, musician, and songwriter.
I laugh at: Political humor.
I am really good at: Business planning and execution.
I admire: Good conversationalists.
Some important things I would like you to know about me: I’m a disabled United States Army Veteran and served 17 years in the military. When I owned Careful Steps Home Care Agency, I provided home care services for Lou Miller and his wife, Jean.