CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by state and local leaders to announce a $750,000 grant that will increase opportunities for workers in Illinois to receive job training in the growing field of health care. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and strengthen Illinois’ health care system. In partnership with the National Latino Education Institute, the state’s investment in New Start, Inc. will provide Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training in Latino communities across Illinois.
“Health care is one of the fastest-growing job markets today,” Governor Quinn said. “This investment will ensure that more people are able to get the training needed for a career in this crucial field, which will only continue to grow as we implement the Affordable Care Act in Illinois.”
The state’s investment will help New Start, Inc. offer a Northern Illinois Regional Certified Nursing Assistant (NIRCNA) training program located at the National Latino Education Institute in Chicago to serve Cook and surrounding counties. It will also support a Central Illinois Regional Certified Nursing Assistant (CIRCNA) training program at New Start, Inc’s Springfield office to serve Cass, Christian, Knox, Macon Macoupin, Mason, McLean, Menard, Montgomery and Sangamon counties.
The Jump Start CNA program will allow participants to build essential nursing skills that will enable them to pursue careers within the field of nursing and be competitive in today’s job market. It will also help close a growing skills gap in the health care field, helping facilities meet the growing demand for staff and better serve patients. This accelerated program will train the students in just under a month, a much shorter time span than what is typically found at other training institutions.
New Start, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization aiming to provide innovative job training programs and strengthen communities. The organization has developed and implemented successful programs for workforce training in rapidly emerging sectors for over 40 years.
The National Latino Education Institute (NLEI) is a not-for-profit community service agency committed to giving the Latino community access to quality job training, education and employment services. Each year NLEI places hundreds of job seekers in positions with more than 300 companies serving various sectors, and directly trains and places more than 200 students. New Start, Inc. has partnered with NLEI to help implement and grow the NIRCNA training program.
“Our mission, from day one, has been to connect trained individuals with in-demand jobs; to forge strong partnerships with businesses and to anticipate the needs of industry by increasing the supply of skilled professionals,” Elba Aranda-Suh, executive director of NLEI said. “Our hard work has enabled NLEI to offer nationally accredited education programs which have proven to end cycles of generational dependency by launching rewarding careers for countless individuals, creating pathways of lifelong learning and affording economic independence for tens of thousands of families in Chicago. The collaborative venture marks the beginning of next generation skills-based programming - combining the talents, resources and best practices of two tested and proven effective workforce practitioners.”
Governor Quinn has made increasing access to quality health care one of his top priorities. Last week he announced his Health Care Workforce Workgroup, to be led by Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, which will assess and plan for the new jobs needed to achieve the goals of health care reform and meet the health needs of Illinois’ growing, increasingly diverse and aging population. The workgroup will assess the existing health care workforce landscape and develop an analysis of gaps that need to be filled both for current needs and the impending demand once hundreds of thousands of people gain access to health coverage as of January 1, 2014 under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Governor Quinn has put Illinois at the forefront of states implementing the ACA and ensuring all people have access to quality health care.