Class is in session for a new Personal Support Worker (PSW) training program at the Near North District School Board (NNDSB).
Eighteen students are enrolled and taking part at Cassellholme in North Bay while a dozen started class at Belvedere Heights in Parry Sound.
They’re learning theory in a classroom then applying the knowledge on the floor of a long-term care home.
Grace Liritzis applied to the program after working in several fields.
“It is really important for me to feel like I’ve contributed to something, and I wasn’t getting that in other professions,” she says.
Once they’ve completed the program, Liritzis and her classmates will be fully trained PSWs with experience on the floor of a long-term care home. Craig Myles, NNDSB Director of Education says the board’s ability to help fill an employment gap was a major impetus for developing the program. “NNDSB has the opportunity to grow stronger community relationships while encouraging learners to come back to school,” he says. “Our staff live and work in communities throughout the district, and we are proud to be able to contribute to educating the workforce that will support us and our families in healthcare.”
The school board partnered with healthcare facilities to provide the program, which is expanding to West Nipissing and Mattawa in September.
***With files from Richard Coffin