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New Pilot Program Launched by State for Students Impacted by the Pandemic

Governor Brian Kemp announced on Monday that a new program aimed at ensuring students negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic have the opportunity to pursue successful careers while receiving a high-quality education. Through the Governors Emergency Education Relief Program, more than $800,000 will be awarded for a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Pilot Program.

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“Here in Georgia, we are committed to meeting the needs of our young people as they prepare to enter our world-class workforce following years of pandemic disruptions, and we are excited to see how this program will make a difference in their lives as it also helps us fulfill a critical workforce need,” said Governor Brian Kemp.

The Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Pilot Program will be allocated $843,000 and will allow 500 current Dual-Enrollment High School students across 10 Georgia College and Career Academy sites a grant to cover the cost of achieving a Nurse Aid Technical College Certificate (TCC), including in-person clinical training through partnering healthcare systems. Also, half of those students will be able to acquire an additional Geriatric Care TCC.

All 500 students will accomplish these certifications while remaining on track to complete their High School Diploma on time. The grant will also cover the cost of completing the CNA examination administered at the end of the program that must be passed before they are allowed to work in that field.

The pilot will allow students whose schedules have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to maintain their path toward typical on-time high school graduation while also accelerating their intended Technical College path so that both achievements can be completed simultaneously. Due to the pandemic, the instructional and educational pathways of many of these students were disrupted, including a halt in clinical rotations required to complete one’s CNA.

The structure of the pilot program allows them to get back on track and gain the support needed to overcome the loss of workplace opportunities that might otherwise have helped to fund their educational pathways.

In summary, 500 students will achieve their High School Diploma on time, achieve a TCC in Nursing Aide (CN21) at a College & Career Academy with clinical learning, experiential training, and internships at a partnering healthcare system, and have their CNA examination test fee covered. 250 of the 500 students will also achieve an additional TCC in Geriatric Care (GC51) to be able to work at assisted living facilities.

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