Nursing certification program offered to Delaware's unemployed, underemployed
A unique program called Generation is hoping to increase employment for Delaware’s under – and unemployed.
25-year-old Delaware resident Brianna Generette helped provide extensive care for her great grandmother until she entered a nursing home at age 98. Generette knew she wanted to help other people in a similar way, but didn’t know where to start.
With a price tag of $4,000 attached to most Certified Nursing Assistant certificates – and three small children to provide for – the idea of pursuing such a certification seemed financially unrealistic.
She considered waitressing to bring to supplement her husband’s income until she stumbled across an opportunity on Indeed.com.
That’s until she found Generation, which offers a unique CNA certification program for people between 18-28, combining job readiness training with technical job-specific knowledge. It was free to Generette, and included a $150 weekly stipend, uniform and other supplies.
"Some days we would go to class and it would be like: ok, today we’re just going to focus on life lessons. What are some issues that you’re having in your life? What are some things that’s going on that we can work through today? Financially, it would be what is your stress, what is the biggest stress you have in your life," Generette said.
Generette recently graduated from the program, and says the unique combination was particularly helpful for her.
“It was like our life coach, whatever we needed that day," she said. "That’s what it was. And it helped us become better people leaving the program. We weren’t just - oh we’re setting up to become CNAs and you sink or swim from there. It was like, we want to make sure you’re the best you you can be.”
Generette is now working for Kentmere, and is very happy with her job and its benefits.
The program targets young workers from disadvantaged backgrounds and offers them a full-time eight-week boot camp Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certificate in partnership with Delaware Technical Community College.
The program combines the typical 180 hours required for CNA programs with an additional 180 hours of job-readiness training, and other skills the attendees feel they need.
Paul Morris, Assistant Vice President of Workforce Development for Delaware Technical Community College says that as of June 1st, 45 students have been enrolled. 43 have successfully completed the program, and 21 have received job placements at companies like Cadia. 17 of the 43 are waiting to take their CNA exams before receiving job placements.
Generation is part of a global employment initiative. It was piloted in Delaware – one of a handful of areas in the U.S. to have it.
Jennifer Sikes is Communications Direct for the McKinsey Social Initiative.
"Generation focuses on youth unemployment. It’s a huge problem as most people know globally, with 75 million young people unemployed and 3 times as many underemployed," Sikes said.
Generation is being expanded in Delaware and nationwide, with the goal of reaching 5 million young people in 5 countries in 5 years.
There are no income requirements, only that individuals must be under- or unemployed.
Generation also offers a hospitality program in the First State in partnership with Springfield College.