WATERVILLE — Seven students completed a collaborative program of 180 hours of Certified Nurses’ Aide training provided through partnerships with Western Maine Community Action at the CareerCenter in Lewiston and Lawrence Adult Education in Fairfield, according to a news release from Western Maine Community Action.

The graduates include Anthony McCutcheon, Christy McCarthy, Julie Frost, Joselyn Marston, Brittany Horton, Kayla Hayden and Makayla Busque.

Northern Light Continuing Care Lakewood in Waterville hosted a graduation ceremony at the facility recognizing graduates as Certified Nurses’ Aides. Desiree Knowles, assistant director of Nursing, welcomed administrators, staff, residents, family, friends, teachers and community partners to the pinning ceremony and presentation of certificates.

Commencement remarks were shared by Class/Clinical Instructor Chris Miller, R.N. and Clinical Instructor Lynn Pagliaro, R.N.; NLCCL Talent Acquisitions Specialist Robin Doody; WMCA Program Coordinator for Central and Western Maine CareerCenters Patti Saarinen; NLH LPN Vicki Dyer and Director of Nursing Patricia Shuck.

The curriculum, in addition to an On-the-Job program following graduation, empowers students with the skills and knowledge essential to the specific job field. “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% of a trainee’s wages during the duration of the program. 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 Doody, according to the release.

The next class will begin July 1. For more information, email Doody at [email protected] by June 7.

For more information about educational partnerships and opportunities, call 753-9005 or check their Facebook page.

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