A unique local school and nursing home partnership has people climbing the health care career ladder

by Annette Pinder

As employers continue to seek high quality employees, and individuals continue to weigh quality opportunities that improve their education and life goals, one unique partnership deserves the attention of health care community job seekers. McGuire Group, VestraCare, and RCA Healthcare Management/Absolut Care are partnering with local colleges to offer paid training and tuition assistance programs for individuals who want to advance their health care careers. 

“By partnering with the local schools, we can design programs that offer outstanding classroom and clinical training, while providing flexibility to accommodate our employees’ work schedules and other obligations,” stated Aaron Polanski, administrator for each of these health groups. “We’re tapping into different sources to meet the growing needs within the health care system, enabling our employees or students to get paid and attend school while climbing the career ladders within our organization.” 

McGuire Group’s five local facilities and Absolut Care have partnered with Trocaire College to offer free tuition to employees looking to become LPNs or RNs. The program is designed to allow a balanced schedule for schooling and work to maximize participants’ success. Once the employees graduate and pass their boards, they work for two years as an LPN or three years as an RN, in exchange for the free tuition. 

Absolut Care of Westfield in Westfield, and Chautauqua Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Dunkirk, are partnering with Erie 2 BOCES to offer a paid four-week certified nursing assistant training program, which includes 120 hours of training. Training takes place Monday through Friday from 5 to 9 pm at Erie 2 BOCES in Dunkirk, with a clinical rotation at one of the nursing facilities. 

The McGuire Group’s five local facilities and Absolut Care of Aurora Park have partnered with D’Youville University to offer a full-time (8 am to 4 pm) paid certified nursing assistant training program. Classroom and theory instruction takes place at the university and clinical rotations are held at McGuire and Absolut facilities, where participants work as “helping hands” until classes start. Once they complete the program and pass the NY state certification exam, participants enter the float pool, rotating between various facilities. 

Northgate Health Care Facility and Absolut Care of Gasport are working with Orleans/Niagara BOCES to create career ladder opportunities for individuals who reside in Niagara County. 

The organizations also have student-career relationships with many Western New York high schools. The program includes MASH camps, summer employment opportunities, and career paths after graduation. The three entities provide nursing and rehabilitative care to more than 2,900 individuals and offer opportunities for RNs, LPNs, CNAs, and support positions including dietary, maintenance, activities, housekeeping, and more. See www.mcguiregroup.com, www.absolutcare.com, and www.vestracare.com to learn more. Anyone interested can text Aaron directly at 716-713-7135, or email apolanski@mcguiregroup.com.