November 3, 2021

New Collaboration Targets Urgent Workforce Need in Health Care

Recognizing the growing need for workers in our state’s health care sector, Manchester Community College (MCC) has developed a new partnership with the International Institute of New England (IINE) to train English Language Learners (ELLs) to become Licensed Nursing Assistants. The 18-week program, launching this fall, combines contextualized English language training, soft-skills development and 144-hours of Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA) training to prepare graduates to successfully complete NH’s Board of Nursing exam to secure employment in the health care sector.

Students who pursue an LNA certificate through this collaboration will receive an IINE – Manchester “LNA for Success” Certificate and an LNA Training Certificate from Manchester Community College. Those who choose to participate in the apprenticeship program will earn a Department of Labor (DOL) Apprenticeship Certificate at the completion of their on-the-job training hours as an official DOL recognized apprenticeship program. Module One focuses on English language skills for the healthcare workplace; Module Two offers clinical training; and Module Three emphasizes workforce readiness.

“This collaboration fills an immediate and urgent need in the healthcare field, and we are excited to be working with the Institute to provide a terrific career opportunity for students,” says Kristine Dudley, Director of the Workforce Development Center (WDC) at Manchester Community College. “We are confident that by this spring, we will have a new class of LNA’s who are ready to enter the field. Becoming an LNA is often a steppingstone to studying to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN).”

The initial cohort of eight students will receive intensive training and complete in-depth coursework. These students qualified for grant funding from Southern NH Services Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) to cover the cost of tuition.

The payoffs are immediate; students will be interviewed by various healthcare providers during Module 1, giving students an opportunity to be hired before completion of the program and earn an hourly wage as an Apprentice.

According to IINE’s Managing Director in Manchester, Henry Harris, “LNA for Success demonstrates the importance and strength of community partnership in meeting clients where they are in their career journeys, and provides them with the resources and supports to achieve their career goals and beyond.”

“Partnerships of this type are exactly why community colleges exist,” explains Dr. Brian Bicknell, President of MCC. “Schools that can adapt to the changing and emerging needs of a community will see long-term success. For students, they receive excellent training to prepare them for challenging and rewarding careers. For area employers, they know they are getting well-qualified employees who can step in and do the job on day one.”

If the pilot program is successful, it will be expanded into a long-term partnership with the participating agencies to ensure language is no longer a barrier to any prospective LNA students. The program includes 60 hours of online study, 24 hours of lab study and 60 hours of clinical work. These are similar to current LNA course offerings. This program also offers several hours a week of intensive English lessons and civic engagement/soft skills training.

“It’s a simple premise,” says Kristine Dudley of MCC’s WDC. “We are providing the exact same professional training that any LNA student would otherwise receive at our school. We are simply adding the English lessons and basic training to bring their communications abilities up to the necessary level to be successful in a health care environment. The applications to this approach are endless and could go a long way towards resolving many of our economy’s workforce challenges.”