New initiative provides certified practical nurse training for young adults leaving high school

A press release from WorkForce Central.

Tacoma, WA – A new training program in Pierce County offers young adults leaving high school the opportunity to enter directly into a in-demand field with a promising career path in health care.

The Young Adult Certified Practical Nurses (CNA) Cohort began in early July and lasts for a total of four weeks. Program participants receive 100 hours of training, CPR certification, clinical experience in a hospital, and will leave fully prepared for the state written and practical exam.

“As vaccination rates continue to rise and our community recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, I am reminded every day how vital our certified nursing assistants and other frontline health professionals are,” Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards said. “I am delighted to see that Workforce Central is now well positioned to provide our high school graduates from Tacoma Public Schools with the opportunity to receive the essential training and education needed to fill these important family jobs. All 20 spots in our inaugural class have been filled and these students are excited to complete the program and get to work.

This CNA pilot cohort filled 20 vacancies with eligible seniors graduating from Tacoma public schools, with tuition for the program covered by a federal grant.

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“We are very happy that the students are participating in this training opportunity”, said Kari Haugen, director of workforce partnerships at WorkForce Central. “Often the first step in a career path is the most difficult to take. By providing a direct link to training while removing barriers through the delivery of inclusive services, students stay engaged during the transition from high school to the start of their careers.

The initiative is a partnership between MultiCare Health System, Divine CNA Institute, Tacoma Public Schools, WorkForce Central and WorkSource Pierce. Together, they coordinate the program, conduct student outreach activities, provide training and experience, and provide comprehensive support, guidance and resources to participating young adults to ensure the success of the program.

“I am inspired by this team of action-oriented all-star partners who come together to serve senior graduates as they transition to post-secondary education and work.” said John Page, director of vocational and technical education at Tacoma Public Schools. “This is a delivery model that Tacoma Public Schools are looking to replicate in other in-demand salary careers!” “

For more information on the CNA Young Adult Cohort, contact Kari Haugen at [email protected] or 253-448-8283.


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