The SkillSpring program, initiated in 2006 by The New Jewish Home in New York to address workforce shortages in long-term care, is expanding its reach to assist in-state competitors. Originally designed to offer a career path in nursing for financially insecure young adults, the program has successfully expanded to other facilities in the state, including a recent pilot program at the Isabella Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care in Washington Heights. This pilot program graduated 14 students who are expected to pursue careers as certified nursing assistants. By the start of 2023, over 150 SkillSpring alumni had been hired, with more than 90% either employed or pursuing higher education.

With the goal of addressing the acute workforce crisis in health providers serving older adults, SkillSpring aims to replicate its success statewide. The CEO of The New Jewish Home, Jeffrey Farber, emphasizes the program’s replicable model and outstanding results over the past 17 years. The expansion of SkillSpring has received support from private donors and government sources.

The program includes two main components: a 12-week hands-on training for young adults and a three-year after-school program offering CNA training to high school students. The recent pilot programs focus on short-term young adult training, catering to groups of 20 or fewer students from underserved areas. Upon successful completion, students receive a CNA license and are guaranteed job offers from program partners if they pursue a career in the field.

The SkillSpring program goes beyond training by providing “wraparound” benefits, including assistance with uniforms, transportation, meals, stipends, and paid internship opportunities. The program also offers case management, connecting participants with resources such as SNAP application assistance and job readiness preparation. The expansion of SkillSpring to include competing facilities is driven by The New Jewish Home’s social mission to advance the sector, recognizing the industry’s staffing crisis and growing demand for geriatric care workers.

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