Vermont Grant to Generate 150 Health Care, Housekeeping Jobs

A personal care attendant assists an elderly woman.

Vermont’s governor was recently joined by health care officials in the state to announce a grant that will help create 150 new jobs for personal care attendants (PCAs) and housekeepers.

Governor Peter Shumlin and Judy Peterson, president of the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA), said the $93,500 grant from the Department of Labor’s Workforce Education and Training Fund will provide additional training for prospective employees who need to add relevant skills to their resumes.

Workers will be trained through the Community College of Vermont (CCV) for positions that range from personal care attendant level 1, which includes base care and meal preparation, to a level 3 that requires knowledge of traumatic brain injuries and other advanced medical issues.

The partnership between these two programs is invaluable. The CCV portion of the program boosts overall career-ready skills, and the VNA’s PCA portion of the program builds on those skills with the specific knowledge needed to be a successful PCA, CCV’s Workforce Coordinator Tiffany Keune said.

People interested in pursuing a career in health care may want to take an online assessment test to determine if they have the skills needed to work as a PCA.

The VNA training will also include computer and mathematics instruction, as well as so-called ‘soft skills’ education such as preparing nutritious meals.

Personal Care Attendants are the backbone of the VNA’s long term care services, Peterson added. “They interact with people on a very intimate level and have an incredibly important role in an individual’s quality of life.”

Peterson said the the grant will also enable the VNA to offer its current personal care attendants opportunities for advancement in the growing field, which is expected to see an increase in demand by as much as 70 percent by 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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