WATERVILLE — Northern Light Continuing Care Lakewood held a graduation ceremony to recognize seven students as Certified Nurses’ Aides on Oct. 30 at the facility.

Patricia Shuck, R.N., director of nursing, welcomed administrators, staff, residents, family, friends, teachers and community partners to the pinning ceremony and presentation of certificates, according to a news release from facility.

The graduates included Billie Jo Ramsdell, Victoria Huff, Jessica Downs, Summer Ogden, Mary Ellen Goneau, Makayla Coyne and Susan Moody.

Students completed a collaborative program of 180 hours of training provided through partnerships with Mid-Maine Regional Adult Community Education in Waterville and Western Maine Community Action at the CareerCenter in Lewiston. An eight-week On-the-Job Training Program for 256 hours also was provided through grant funding facilitated by Western Maine Community Action, a partner in the CareerCenter system.

“This graduation class is not only the result of the students’ dedication, but also the best model of train to work where business, education and workforce development collaborate,” said Patti Saarinen, WMCA/WIOA Site Coordinator serving Androscoggin, Franklin, Oxford, Kennebec and Somerset counties, according to the release. “OJT is an incentive based program providing 50 percent of a trainee’s wages during the duration of the program. Students are empowered with the skills and knowledge essential to the specific job field.” The integration of education and training is a best-practice model for success.

“The grant funding was very well spent. Our new team members are vibrant and so well prepared,” said Shannon Lockwood, NLCCL Administrator, according to the release. “There are many ways this program ensures that we find the right people with the right skills and the right personality for this profession. We are grateful for the opportunity to benefit from this grant and the students are enthusiastic and excited about this rare and free opportunity to be paid to learn.”

“It’s exciting to open doors for individuals looking for a new career opportunity. NLH Continuing Care Lakewood has done just that by partnering with Adult education and WMCA to train and certify new Certified Nursing Assistants. This is a win-win for all,” said Talent Acquisitions Specialist, Robin Doody, according to the release.

For more information on educational partnerships and opportunities, call 753.9005 or visit wmca.org.

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