Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683
Following a recently announced $6 million investment, Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) today announced the launch of the WisCaregiver Careers program expansion, the state’s free certified nurse aide (CNA) workforce development program. Wisconsinites who wish to start or advance a health care career as a CNA in Wisconsin nursing homes are encouraged to register at WisCaregiver.com. More than 240 employers have registered to participate in the program that provides on-the-job training to participants.
“Wisconsin’s health care and nursing workforce is an essential part of ensuring the health and wellness of our entire state,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “With an aging population and a nursing workforce shortage that has existed for the better part of the last decade, we’re investing in and expanding this successful program to ensure every Wisconsinite has the quality care they need and deserve, while bringing free, on-the-job training to Wisconsinites statewide.”
The WisCaregiver Careers program, administered by the Wisconsin Health Care Association and LeadingAge Wisconsin, was launched to address the shortage of certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in Wisconsin nursing homes. Since its launch in 2018, the program has trained more than 3,500 new CNAs for employment.
“This expansion of WisCaregiver Careers will make rewarding careers in health care possible for even more Wisconsinites, adding staff who will offer critical support to residents in long term care settings and to our existing health care workforce that continues to be on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “I applaud the joint leadership of the Wisconsin Health Care Association and LeadingAge Wisconsin to shape this program in a way that can support and serve nursing homes and residents across the state."
In addition to expanding the program, the funding will support a statewide multi-media campaign to recruit interested Wisconsinites. The campaign includes a new website, which contains a map of currently registered employers, one of several new tools to help prospective CNA trainees connect with employers in their communities. The media campaign includes streaming radio and TV ads, as well as social media outreach and print ads in local newspapers across the state.
“We’d like to thank Gov. Evers and his administration for this critical investment in the future stability of the long-term care sector,” said Rick Abrams, CEO of the Wisconsin Health Care Association. “In doing so, the governor has removed a significant financial obstacle that has long impeded access to quality CNA training across the state. This critical program not only benefits prospective caregivers, but most importantly the residents and families they serve.”
“Wisconsin’s nursing homes provide rewarding opportunities in health care for those looking for a career path and who have a passion for making a difference in the lives of others,” said John Sauer, President/CEO of LeadingAge Wisconsin. “The WisCaregiver Careers program is an excellent way for individuals to gain free training, testing, mentoring, and career exploration while earning money as a direct care worker. We are looking forward to working with those who are ready to partner with our excellent long-term care providers throughout the state.”
Wisconsinites interested in beginning a CNA career in health care can register at WisCaregiver.com. Registrants will receive a confirmation email and begin the process of connecting with employer training sites in their community. They can also watch a video of what this process looks like.