Workforce training program in Burlington provides free LNA training to underserved Vermonters

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A new workforce training program in Burlington will help under-served Vermonters become licensed nursing assistants.

‘Moving up and Moving on’ will provide 10 weeks of free training to low-income students and Vermonters of color. The program is focused on eliminating financial and technical barriers.

“Overcoming barriers isn’t something we can expect people to do who are dealing with the barriers themselves,” said Brian Pine with CEDO. “We’ve got to do a true embrace of the people in this program and to reach folks facing a lot of challenges in life.”

It’s funded by the city’s Community Economic Development Office, or CEDO. When students complete the training, they’ll be prepared to take on the job of a licensed nursing assistant.

“I’ve always wanted to help people,” said Samaya Stewart. “I feel like that’s what I’m here to do and I want to help people in any way that I can.”

Stewart is in the first cohort of students and hopes it will serve as a stepping stone to become an RN. The program will also offer her and other students, transportation, childcare, and necessary technology.

“There’s not so many LNA programs who are supportive,” Stewart said. “They just want you to come and work, but you guys are actually helping us, and I’m thankful for that.”

Healthcare leaders say this initiative will also help tackle the shortage of healthcare workers, something that was amplified by the pandemic. Students will be matched with open positions at UVM Medical Center, as well as long term and assisted care facilities, like Cathedral Square and Ethan Allen Residence. TLC Homecare will provide the training.

“Care giving is one aspect of healthcare that cannot be outsourced to artificial intelligence or any robotic technology that has become prevalent in our daily lives,” said Mohamed Basha.

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