After launching a successful high school program to train high school students in 5 certifications, The New Jewish Home established a program in 2014 focused on training older youth to become home health aides. The initiative was in keeping with its mission to partner with areas around New York City to develop the next generation of workers in aging services.
The New Jewish Home developed a 3-month home health aide training program for young people ages 18-24 who had not yet graduated from high school for a number of reasons. Not only was The New Jewish Home able to grow its own workforce, it also gave local youth training for jobs that did not require a high school degree.
The New Jewish Home advertises the program through job fairs organized by community-based organizations and high schools. Students receive training broken down in specific phases anywhere from 25-40 hours per week for a 3-month period. During this time, they receive stipends totaling $300, a paid internship for 5 weeks (minimum wage offered), along with a free home health aide certification course towards the end of the program. While the New Jewish Home pays for these costs, they receive funding from private foundations and government sources.
The New Jewish Home works with approximately 50 students per year with three groups of 10-15 young people. Since the program is intended for youth who come from difficult circumstances, it provides support services such as professional development, conflict resolution, and psycho-social support/coaching services with a licensed social worker/social work intern. As a result, about 70% remain in the program.
Factors for Success:
- Patience and the desire to welcome a young person into the community and expose them to a nursing facility.
- Providing flexibility in training program to allow opportunities for participants who many need to secure childcare, housing, and health screenings.
- Staff development to ensure culturally competent staff that is able to appropriately work with this population in a variety of settings. The New Jewish Home notes that youth development principles are often not embedded into the instruction and training of staff in healthcare.
- A percentage of graduates have gone onto become certified nursing assistants and LPNs.
- 80% percent of graduates of this program have been hired by the New Jewish Home as HHAs.
Need more information?
Contact John Cruz, program director, Geriatric Career Development at The New Jewish Home.