Facing a shortage of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), West Michigan health care leaders asked Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) to start a CNA training program. GRCC, which offers many training and certification courses alongside its associate degree programs, was eager to fill the gap. But the college needed help.
In January 2018, the College became one of only two recipients of the America’s Promise grant in the state of Michigan. Since then, the College is already making great strides developing and expanding partnerships with local employers. As of June 2017, the grantee has seven lead employers and 28 additional employers that have joined its efforts to partner with economic development, workforce development, community colleges and community-based organizations to create a pipeline of healthcare workers to fill existing job openings and meet employer needs for expansion in well-paying, middle- and high-skilled, and high-growth jobs across a variety of H-1B healthcare occupations.
One such partner is Holland Homes, a local employer that has stepped forward to completely remodel a space in their headquarters so that it can be used as a training lab for GRCC’s CNA program. Holland Home, a senior care community with four area campuses and a corporate office, volunteered to host the program in a lab it would create at its headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Holland Home and GRCC outlined what they would need to transform a former 1,200-square-foot office space into a lab, and Grand Rapids-based Post Associates Architects drew up the plans. Holland Home’s staff of electricians, plumbers and carpenters did the build-out.
GRCC will use the space for three years, completely rent free. The grantee believes that the America’s Promise grant directly contributed to this employer making this major contribution to the project.
The finished product, which includes classroom space seating 16, four hospital beds, practice mannequins and computer systems for online record-keeping, cost between $30,000 and $40,000. Holland Home paid for the renovations, and GRCC provided the equipment. The lab opened March 29 2017.
Steve Ender, who recently retired as GRCC’s President, said the community came together in ways that allowed GRCC to do more than it otherwise could.
“When you think about the scope and the different agencies involved and the support services they’re bringing to the table … we couldn’t do that complex of a program on our own,” Ender said. “We’re drawing in folks of different skill sets. It’s not owned by GRCC or Holland Home; it’s owned by six or eight different agencies working together.”
Click here for all the details about this wonderful employer partnership!
Source: Grand Rapids Business Journal, “Community Partners Fill Need for Nursing Assistants”
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