April 10, 2013 -- Nine men and women of diverse professional experience and personal backgrounds are the latest graduates of JVS’ HealthWorks™, a training program that launches its participants on a career in the healthcare industry.
The graduates completed their five and a half weeks of training and the majority have already passed the Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) qualifying exam. In addition to receiving post-CNA training, they will now seek employment as Certified Nurse Assistants.
“This is the beginning of the beginning,” said a proud Angelica Generoso, HealthWorks™ Program Manager. “The path you have chosen is not an easy one. However, to alleviate the pain, ease the suffering and maintain the dignity of each and every person you touch…now that’s a noble pursuit. It takes a special person to do that kind of work.”
Featured speaker Linda Muggli of Silverado Senior Living – a frequent employer of HealthWorks™ graduates - also saluted the new CNAs. The work isn’t easy, Muggli emphasized, as patients suffer from dementia and can often become angry and abusive toward their care-givers.
“In addition to helping keep your patients clean and safe, you’re also helping them feel loved and I hope you realize how important our role is,” said Muggli. “To me being a CNA is the most important job and the hardest job you’ll ever love.”
Silverado was one of several employers who attended the graduation, along with American All Care Services, Dynamic Nursing Services, Rest Assured Nursing and Sunrise Senior Living of Beverly Hills, all of which interviewed the graduates following the certificate presentation ceremonies.
Before coming to HealthWorks™, the participants have worked for advertising agencies and redevelopment firms, cared for family members with serious illness and volunteered at local medical centers. Some are recently arrived from the Philippines. Others are reentering the work force for the first time in many years.
“I’ve taken care of my mother and my niece,” said Ednesha Gilliam whose sister also graduated HealthWorks.™ “I never thought I’d come through and get certified. It’s a start.”
“The program was challenging, but I wanted it so badly that I just persevered through it,” added Tracey Thomas who left her job at an advertising agency eight years ago to care for her daughter. “
The program, which is taught by representatives from the American Red Cross, includes classroom training and two weeks of clinical work. JVS expects to place 50 graduates in health care industry jobs in 2013 following 26 placements in 2012. The program’s partnership with the American Red Cross has allowed HealthWorks™ training sessions to branch out into areas around the city including Canoga Park, Glendale, and Torrance. Over the summer, JVS offered its first training session in the Antelope Valley. That newest class became possible, in large measure, thanks to the support of longtime sponsor The Boeing Company, which will be honored with the Corporate Leadership Award at the 2013 Strictly Business Luncheon on May 8th at The Beverly Hilton.
HealthWorks™ is funded in part by the Boeing Corporation, the State of California Employment Training Panel, Bank of America, the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, United Way and JVS Board Officer Adam Press.