Six individuals graduated from the CNA Plus Program at The Cedars this past Friday, helping to fill much-needed healthcare positions in long term care. CNA Plus is a result of the collaboration among Southern Maine Community College, the Root Cellar, the Boyne Foundation and The Cedars that trains individuals, including members of Portland’s immigrant population, as direct care workers and transitions them to full time jobs.
The program provides qualified applicants with English Language Learning assistance, if needed, and a full scholarship into the 12 week program. In addition to the CNA (certified nursing assistant) certification, they receive Servsafe certification, and extensive training in dementia, rehabilitation and customer service.
SMCC’s President, R. Ronald Cantor, Ph.D. provided the key note address at the graduation ceremony. He remarked that in today’s world, few can afford the luxury of a four-year education. Programs such as CNA Plus provide flexible options, and help to create the workforce that Maine needs.
The collision of too few healthcare professionals and a growing senior population is a critical emergency our entire country is facing. In Maine, which has the highest median age, the unemployment rate is very low and the need for CNA’s is very high.
Classes began at Southern Maine Community College this spring, with clinical experience provided at The Cedars. “The CNA Plus Program is an innovative and inclusive approach to expanding our workforce that also expands our community and our reach,” explains Angela Hunt, Chief Operating Officer at The Cedars. “These students are thrilled to have this opportunity, and they have so much to offer our residents.” Contact The Cedars for further information on upcoming courses.