Education Fund CNA Program Graduates First Student

By October 23, 2018Education Fund, News

Brenda Macias, first graduate of the Education Fund’s CNA program.

We are pleased to announce the launch of our Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) training program. Our first student, Brenda Macias, graduated and passed the state licensing exam in September 2018 and has been offered a new position with her current employer.

“The program is a great opportunity to grow your career,” Brenda says.

The CNA Program is made possible through the SEIU Local 2015 Education Fund, a labor and management partnership, with funding from California’s Employment Training Panel and employer contributions.

Through this program we are addressing the severe shortage of CNAs statewide. Half of California’s counties are designated by the Public Health Department as having a CNA worker shortage. In addition, the program offers career pathway opportunities to eligible nursing home workers and in-home caregivers.

“The long term care crisis in this state makes it critically important that we prepare a workforce with the capacity and skills to meet the present and future need,” says April Verrett, Executive Vice President of SEIU Local 2015. “Our workers aren’t just learning new skills—they are acquiring them in a way that takes their whole lives into account. The way the CNA training is offered makes it available to workers who would otherwise not have access to education.”

Mike Wasserman, CEO of Rockport Healthcare Services and a member of the Education Fund’s Board of Trustees, says that more training programs for CNAs are urgently needed because of the key role they play in the healthcare system.

“CNAs are the most important people in long-term care,” Wasserman says. “They spend far and away the most time caring for residents. No one else comes close.

“One big advantage of training CNAs through the Education Fund’s program is that it provides a career path to those who are already employed in nursing homes and are familiar with long-term care as a profession,” Wasserman says.

Students for the CNA program are recruited from employees in long-term care facilities who work in dietary, housekeeping, and other non-clinical positions. In addition, performance based funding received from California’s Employment Training Panel allows 20% of the program’s slots to be reserved for caregivers who provide care through the California In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program.

The CNA program’s first graduate, Brenda, was employed as a dietary aide at the Maywood Healthcare & Wellness Centre in Maywood, California when she learned about the program through the outreach efforts of Education Fund Field Coordinator  Adi Quezada.

Before starting the training program, Brenda was nervous about her ability to handle the coursework.

“But once I got started,” she says, “the classes were easy to understand.”

As a result of the education Brenda received in the training program, she was able to pass her licensing exam in September and has been promoted to a CNA position at her current facility. Her long term goal is to become a Registered Nurse.

“The CNA program is a great opportunity to grow,” Brenda says. “You can eventually become a nurse or a social worker. The CNA is the first step to a larger career.”

Wasserman says employers should take advantage of the CNA program. “Programs like this are valuable as we are working to grow and expand the most important workforce that long-term care has,” Wasserman says. “We would ignore these programs at our own risk.”

To enroll in the CNA program or to learn more, call CLTCEC at 213-985-1683 or email us at soniae@cltcec.org.