TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. — Aspiring certified nursing assistants are guaranteed job placement through a local program while both helping fill a worker shortage and starting a worthwhile career.
Jessica Zaccanti is a certified nursing assistant and helping people runs in the family.
“My mom was one and my grandmother was one, so I always seen them working as a CNA, so I wanted to do the same thing,” Zaccanti said.
Zaccanti was a scholarship recipient from the Tampa Housing Authority that completed a nursing assistant program at C.N.A. Technical Center.
“I’m a single mother with two kids, and it’s hard to pay for stuff, even not going to school, just like gas, rent, everything, so having a better job will make it easier,” she said.
C.N.A. Technical Center in Temple Terrace trains people who want to become certified nursing assistants, home health aides or phlebotomists. The Center has partnered with various organizations like the Tampa Housing Authority to screen and sponsor candidates looking to get into these fields, getting them into their program for free.
“When you’re trying to take care of a family, you may have one or two children, or maybe you’re just trying to take care of yourself, it becomes increasingly hard to be able to come out of pocket to pay for school, also keep a roof over your head, as well as fill up your gas tank to even get to and from your educational institution,” CEO of C.N.A. Technical Center Ellisa Durrant said “So offsetting the burden of okay I don’t have to pay for this class, I can just pay for my gas which I have to do anyway, it really helps them.”
The training students get also helps to fill a shortage in the healthcare industry. The Center guarantees job placement once a person completes their certification.
“At this time with COVID hitting, the shortage of certified nursing assistants, nursing, thus far, it’s always a need for that, and just being able to go into a different career to make a better income, put them in a different income bracket for their household is a plus,” COO of C.N.A. Technical Center Jaclyn Kelly said.
It’s all part of an effort to help provide access and opportunity, while helping prepare a new wave of workers.
“It’s a great school, and they help you out,” Zaccanti said. “When they were talking about backgrounds, I had problems with mine too, but they worked with me, and I did what I had to do to continue my career.”
If you are a resident with Tampa Housing Authority, whether you live on one of the properties or are a voucher holder, the housing authority said you should reach out to your case manager or housing specialist for more information on the program.