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November 25, 2014

Oswego County Workforce New York Partnership Helps Job Seekers

FULTON - Oswego County Workforce New York (OCWNY), Oswego Health, The Manor at Seneca Hill, and the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation (CiTi, formerly Oswego County BOCES) are working together to offer a new opportunity in the healthcare field.

Representatives recently met with more than a dozen job seekers to discuss a new specialized training program being offered for certified nursing assistants (CNAs). The candidates learned about the role of a CNA and heard first-hand about the organizations hiring from the program.

James Kelley of Oswego Health led the presentation along with Jason Santiago from The Manor at Seneca Hill, Elizabeth Hillier from CiTi, and Chad Whelsky from OCWNY.

"We are looking for solid candidates to begin training today for a fulfilling career in healthcare," said Kelley. "Through this partnership, we have a new opportunity to reach people and help them get started."

The CNA program begins on Monday, Dec. 15 and runs through the last week in February 2015. Upon successful completion of the course, candidates will take their certification test in March. After they are certified, candidates will go through the hiring process at Oswego Health, which includes a background and reference check, before being offered a CNA position.

Kelley said, "We all benefit from the success of this program. As an organization, we know we are getting quality, well-trained candidates. They, in turn, will gain from a new career with great benefits and room for advancement."

Santiago seconded, "We want good people to take care of our residents. To touch the lives of other people every day is an enriching experience in itself, and there is a lot of potential for personal career growth for these candidates as well."

The CNA program is an accelerated, full-time evening class. It consists of 125 hours of study, including 93 classroom and lab hours with 32 clinical hours.

"It is our mission to help people in the community by teaching them skills that will help them find a career to provide for their families," said Hillier. "This is a great entry point for candidates, a chance for them to start at the beginning and develop their skills as they work their way through the healthcare field."

Ten candidates will be selected to participate in this CNA program; however, there will be other opportunities as well. Additional candidates will be considered for the next class which begins in March 2015 and continues to the end of May. A third class runs through the summer session from July to August 2015.

OCWNY, operated by the Oswego County Division of Employment and Training, has an active role in coordinating this venture. It is modeled on a previous partnership they organized with Morningstar Residential Care Center and CiTi, which successfully trained more than 13 people in the CNA program.

Whelsky said, "Facilitating partnerships fulfills one of our primary objectives. We work with companies, organizations, and job seekers alike to create opportunities for people to acquire or improve their skills set and make them 'job-ready,' which provides a quality pool of skilled candidates for area employers." Earlier this year, OCWNY partnered with The Fulton Companies and CiTi on a specialized welding program. That collaboration resulted in four new hires for the company and improved the self-sufficiency of the four workers.

The role of OCWNY goes beyond making introductions. They also work with candidates to find scholarships to help cover costs.

"People who are interested in this program should not let money worries keep them from pursuing it. Whether they need help with the class or supplies, we are here to help make sure everyone is successful in this endeavor. It is not a gift, but an investment in someone's future. We just ask that they make that same investment in themselves."

The cost of the program is $1,375 per candidate plus a $50 application fee, which will be waived for the winter program only. Applicants will be required to take the TABE aptitude exam, which is made up of multiple choice questions about reading and math. A high school diploma or GED is not necessary to enroll in the course; however, Oswego Health will require one for employment.

For more information about this program or other job opportunities, contact Oswego County Workforce New York at 591-9000 or visit www.oswegocounty.com/dss


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