The Center for Caregiver Advancement Receives a $14 Million Grant From the California Workforce Development Board to Launch a Statewide Cna & Lvn Registered Apprenticeship Program

The Center for Caregiver Advancement (CCA) received a $14 million grant from the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) to launch a statewide Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) Registered Apprenticeship Program and to pilot a CNA to Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) registered apprenticeship program. This earn-and-learn apprenticeship model is a significant part of the solution to the skilled nursing industry’s challenges of reducing employee turnover and addressing nursing staff shortages.

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The grant is part of the High Road Training Partnerships (HRTP) Resilient Workforce Fund Initiative. CCA will train 500 people to become CNAs, and 12 CNAs to become LVNs by the end of the three-year funding period, offering career growth for incumbent nursing home workers and other community members. The training is free to eligible participants, with CCA covering the costs of tuition, books, and any costs related to certification. Aside from the free training, participants also receive robust wrap-around services and support for the cost of childcare, groceries, and transportation. CCA will also reimburse participating facilities the wages of the participants who earn CNA certification during their first four weeks of employment.

The program is available to unionized skilled nursing facilities that are in the Education Fund, a training fund for members of SEIU Local 2015. As the only Labor Management Partnership in California, SEIU Local 2015 and nursing home employers are collaborating with CCA in implementing a framework that advances economic, occupational, gender, and racial equity efforts while providing a pathway to fixing an industry crisis.

“This apprenticeship program will enable employers to focus resources on quality of care by increasing the number of highly trained CNAs in our facilities,” says John Bowen, Vice President of Operations at Sun Mar Healthcare and a member of CCA Board of Trustees. “Through on-the-job training and mentorship, the participants quickly learn their facilities’ policies, procedures and expectations, which help create a seamless transition into their new roles as critical members of our team.”

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Participants will work as nursing aides at participating facilities while they are in the program. They will also receive mentorship support from an experienced CNA or LVN who will help them acclimate to their new roles. Participants are guaranteed a wage increase upon obtaining their state certification and being promoted to CNAs.

“This is a true collaboration between labor and management. The industry-specific, targeted approach of CCA’s apprenticeship program will create upward mobility for our members and help ease the strain on our burdened long-term care system,” says Arnulfo de la Cruz, Executive Vice President of SEIU Local 2015 and a member of CCA’s Board of Trustees.

Long-term care workers at skilled nursing facilities in California provide critical care and health support for the state’s most vulnerable communities. But employee turnover and retention pose massive challenges for the industry, with CNA turnover rates reaching nearly 100%. CCA’s Registered Apprenticeship Program will help participating facilities meet staffing requirements with the acquisition of highly trained CNAs, with a worker-centered training program.

“The apprenticeship program will answer the call for qualified caregivers with on-the-job training, building experience while overcoming the barriers that prevent people from being able to participate in traditional licensing programs,” says Corinne Eldridge, CCA President and CEO. “We are proud to provide a solution for our employer partners who are in critical need of a highly trained workforce and help them reduce turnover and increase employee retention.”

The Center for Caregiver Advancement is the largest provider of training for caregivers in California and has trained over 18,000 nursing home workers and In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) caregivers. Founded in 2000 by the long-term care workers who are now members of SEIU Local 2015, CCA provides quality educational opportunities including free classes for in-home caregivers and nursing home workers to help them build better lives for themselves and the people they serve.

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