Pilot project brought the classroom to the student

 Five cna pilot program graduates

Program graduates, l-r, Roseline Cemelus, Rosalyi Santana, Channel Mendez, Donetta Jones, Taylor Lemon

An innovative partnership between North Shore Community College, Beverly Hospital and Harborlight Homes has resulted in preparing a class of nursing assistants to meet high demand jobs in the North Shore’s healthcare system.

The partnership was made possible through state Education and Training Funds (ETF) funding.

The funds are intended to serve people who are unemployed, underemployed, or who belong to populations often underrepresented in programs that offer such opportunities

The funds allowed NSCC to offer tuition-free, service enriched, incentivized, short-term training opportunities.  Students receive the upskilling or reskilling necessary to find employment, jobs that offer a higher wage and environments that offer professional growth.  The programs and courses also help businesses in the area who are seeking skilled professionals, particularly in high-demand industries such as healthcare, information technology, and cybersecurity.

This special pilot project brought the classroom to the student, a critical component to bolster the ability to participate. Harborlight Home’s community room at the organization’s Anchor Point (housing) facility in Beverly served as the classroom and Beverly Hospital provided the instructional spaces to use as a skills lab where the students practiced what they learned in the classroom. The hope and expectation is that programs like this and others will grow in the future. 

A critical component of the program was the coaching provided to the students, including time management and study skills, course content, preparing a resume and practicing interviewing skills.

Leaders actively engaged with potential employers to facilitate interaction between students and area businesses and scheduled job fairs to bring employers into the classroom to talk informally with students about their company and what they are looking for in a job candidate. 

The class was recently celebrated at a graduation ceremony attended by representatives from all three partners as well as student family and friends. Graduate Donetta Jones spoke on behalf of her classmates. “Thank you to Harborlight Homes, NSCC and Beverly Hospital for this opportunity to be the first to pilot this CNA grant-funded program. Thanks to Harborlight for providing the classroom space and to Beverly Hospital for offering lab space. It was an incredible learning experience in every way.”

Andrew DeFranza, executive director for Harborlight Homes, said, “Harborlight, as an affordable nonprofit housing provider, is committed to creating pathways to economic mobility for families and essential workers. This program is exactly the kind of effort we have long envisioned for the families we serve.  We are grateful to our friends at NSCC and Beverly Hospital who helped make it come together, and we look forward to expanding upon this programming in the future.” 

Tom Sands, FACHE, President of Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospitals, remarked, “Congratulations to our graduates for completing this educational and career milestone.  This was not an easy journey, but through belief in yourselves and a village of supporters, all things are possible. Beverly Hospital is proud to be part of these graduates' extended village of support, and are confident they have a bright future.”

NSCC President Dr. William Heineman said, "This graduation is proof of the great things that happen when government, employers, education and the non-profit sector come together to solve problems.  With state funding to underwrite training to prepare unemployed or underrepresented people to fill critical community workforce needs, NSCC, Beverly Hospital, and Harborlight Homes came together in partnership to provide the education, facilities, onsite training, and the wrap-around support that helped these students succeed."

NSCC has welcomed 126 students to participate in EDF funded courses/programs over the last year.  With these funds NSCC has run a total of 14 programs/courses over the last 14 months: seven Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aide cohorts; three Recovery Coach cohorts; two Technical Support Specialist cohorts and two Community Health Worker cohorts.  Another IT Technical Support Specialist and Phlebotomy/EKG Technician programs are scheduled. 

NSCC has applied for and received an additional $370,000 in supplemental funding made available by the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges.

“This pilot project is evidence of the impact of Education and Training Funds,” said Sean Dadsetan-Foley, Education & Training Fund Manager for MACC. “The ETF was designed to intentionally address labor shortages in high-demand industries by leaning on the infrastructure and expertise of our community colleges. This program has beautifully showcased the potential when education, industry, and human services partners collaborate.”

He added, “The community colleges across the Commonwealth are providing high-demand training programs at low/no-cost for students, and it’s because of this investment that our campuses are aiming to train over 2,400 individuals by July 2024.”

For more information on NSCC’s CNA/HHA program, go to  https://tinyurl.com/264kccc5


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