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A Community-Based Training Approach That Raised Completion Rates

The Opportunity

By leveraging training and employment resources already embedded in low-income communities—such as local colleges—we can close the gap between the demand for home care services and the supply of well-trained and well-supported home care workers.

Our Partners

PHI worked with the New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare, the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), and four home care providers (Progressive Home Health Services, now Premier Home Health Care Services; Neighbors Home Care; Best Choice Home Health Care; and People Care) to promote our best practices in recruiting, training, and retaining direct care workers through the City University of New York (CUNY) system.

What We Did

We adapted our entry-level home health aide training for CUNY’s certificate program, providing train-the-trainer workshops and technical assistance to instructors at Lehman College, Queensborough Community College, and NYC College of Technology. We also trained Workforce1 Career Center staff in screening candidates and assisted SBS in securing partnerships with the four employers to guarantee job offers for every student who successfully completed the program.

Who Was Involved

149 trainees enrolled in the pilot program in 2014. After the program was fully implemented, enrollment increased to 394 trainees in 2015 and 408 trainees in 2016.

The Results

Completion rates increased from 61% during the pilot phase to 80 percent in 2015 and 88 percent in 2016—an impressive outcome among home care training programs and workforce training programs overall. Furthermore, employer data from the first year of full implementation indicate that 76 percent of trainees secured a job and 75 percent of those workers retained their jobs after three months.

Lessons Learned

This project demonstrated that connecting local colleges, municipal agencies, and private employers is a viable way to develop and strengthen the direct care workforce in a specific city or region. Through the project, we learned that investment in a mobile training team—comprised of Registered Nurse instructors and Assistant Trainers with home care experience—may enhance effectiveness and sustainability, compared to relying on adjunct instructors with variable experience and high turnover. Leveraging these findings, PHI is currently expanding the model with additional community colleges and employer partners in New York City, with a view to refining the model for replication in other regions nationwide.

“The teachers are wonderful. I have learned a lot since I’ve been in this program. It’s a great and fantastic experience and it’s very hands-on in most lessons which I absolutely enjoy and it prepares me for when I do go out in the field.” – CUNY program trainee

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