HEALTH CARE WORKERS: Kaiser, SEIU to Launch Training Program
To address the growing shortage of health care workers in Northern California, the Health Care Workers Union SEIU Local 250 has teamed up with Kaiser Permanente to secure a $2.2 million training grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The grant will allow union members who work for Kaiser and community nursing homes in Northern California to obtain training in more advanced health careers. For example, licensed vocational nurses working for Kaiser will have the option of receiving training to become registered nurses, while housekeepers, clerks and service employees can opt to be trained as acute care nurses assistants, medical assistants or unit assistants. In addition, nursing home certified nursing assistants who are members of the Local 250 will have the opportunity to train to be acute care nursing assistants at Kaiser. To replace those workers who choose to upgrade their skills, the union will recruit low-income and welfare-to-work recipients for entry level jobs. Tony Gately, Kaiser Permanente regional medical group administrator of Northern California, said, "Kaiser Permanente is investing in the people of this organization who want to enhance their skills and grow professionally." SEIU Local 250 President Sal Rosselli added, "The SEIU/Kaiser Permanente partnership shows how we can improve ... staffing in hospitals and medical clinics." The two-year program is slated to begin in 2001 (Kaiser Permanente release, 7/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.