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Goodwill just received $10,000 to keep sponsoring individuals who want to become a certified nurse aide.
The donation was made to Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids by the Grainger Foundation on the recommendation of David Kurti, branch manager of the Grand Rapids location of W.W. Grainger, Inc., a broad line supplier of repair, maintenance and operating products.
Goodwill’s CNA program, located at Porter Hills Village, is a 115-hour comprehensive, hands-on-training program that includes classroom, laboratory and clinical experience.
The money given to the program will be used to fund scholarships and pay for nursing home experiences, state certification and instructors for the program, said Jill Wallace, chief marketing and communication officer for the Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids.
State certification is about $1,500 per individual and tuition for the CNA program is $1,200, Wallace said. Every four weeks, Goodwill’s CNA program works with about 16 students. The program’s graduation rate is about 85 percent, she said.
Anyone, regardless of “barriers or past limitations,” is welcome to attend the program, she said, which is important for out-of-work locals needing to start over, especially those with disabilities or minor criminal backgrounds.
Goodwill provides job training to assist those who are underemployed or over-employed, she said.
“It’s important because West Michigan is growing so much in medical professions. There are so many job opportunities with nurse aides, especially with the baby boomers (beginning to retire,)” she said. “You’re also able to set your own schedule so it’s a great career for someone who has kids.”
Wallace said Grainger has traditionally been a good partner to Goodwill, even hiring past participants in Goodwill’s other programs, and is grateful for Grainger’s financial generosity.
“We’ve had a great relationship with Grainger. They’ve been able to take our participants and place them in employment at Grainger,” she said. “They are willing to take people and give them a second chance.”