Free program to provide Muskegon job seekers with fast track to health care careers; deadline to apply is Sept. 9

A new program will provide the necessary education and technical training for a career as a certified nurse aide. Photo courtesy of West Michigan Works!

A critical need for employees in the health care industry is prompting West Michigan Works!, Muskegon Community College, and adult education providers to partner and offer a free program meant to usher Muskegon County job seekers into careers as certified nurse aides.

With the hope that the new initiative will help to train a qualified workforce quickly, the program will provide the necessary education and technical training for a career as a certified nurse aide (CNA). The deadline to apply is Sept. 9; there is no cost to complete the program.

“We are very proud of our nurse aide training class,” Chris Patterson, the director of Nursing and Health Programs at Muskegon Community College, said in a press release. “Graduates of our program are in high demand because of the number of lecture, lab and clinical hours it provides.”

Participants in the 10-week training program will enroll in Muskegon Community College and attend classes three days a week to earn a CNA certificate. Classes will be held at the West Michigan Works! service center in Muskegon and will begin on September 16.

Additional coursework at an adult education location will be designated for GED or high school completion test preparation, including improving math and reading skills. Participating adult education locations include Orchard View Community Education, Fruitport Community Education and White Lake Community Education. Workforce preparation activities will provide access to support services through West Michigan Works!.

“Life is challenging; we want to help make that next career step happen a little bit faster and a little bit easier with the support of this partnership,” Brittany Lenertz, the talent solutions director at West Michigan Works!, said in the same release. “This program provides help and support for people to get the foundational education they need and the technical training required to start on a great career path.”

A CNA works under the supervision of nurses to deliver direct care for patients. They provide assistance with bathing, dressing and meals as well as take vital signs and set up medical equipment.

“We know that these graduates will be an integral part of the nursing care of local residents as they enter into this entry-level healthcare position,” Patterson said. “Many graduates will go on to other healthcare occupations, such as nursing, medical assisting, respiratory therapy, and physical therapy.”

Interested individuals can call (231) 332-3911 to learn more or to enroll in the program.

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