Central Aroostook’s MSAD 42 Adult Education Program has a successful innovative partnership with local Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle to help fill an important workforce need in the area. Together they have a 7-week program that gives participants the opportunity to apply for a position that will give them not only the skills needed to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN) but a guaranteed job as well.
Designed to take the stress out of training for a job as a CNA, the program has been training and employing CNAs for nearly 4 years. Participants can apply for the program just like they were applying for a regular position by filling out an application and undergoing an interview process. Accepted applicants get paid work full-time during training and are guaranteed a position upon graduation.
The program offers both didactic and hands-on skills, which is followed by a certification exam. Upon passing they are put onto the CNA registry and can fulfill clinical hours at Mars Hill nursing home where a position is waiting for them.
Like other regions throughout the state, Northern Maine has struggled with finding CNAs to work at the local nursing home. The goal behind this partnership is to build the workforce in the region by providing paid training and positions for residents.
“The program has worked out great, and the team effort between our Adult Ed staff and Northern Light ARG staff has gone very well,” said Kathy Miller, MSAD 42 Adult Ed Secretary.
This program has also provided the opportunity for summer classes that are available to juniors and seniors in high school. They are able to work part time until they finish high school. Upon graduation, they can begin working full time at the Mars Hill Facility.