News Releases

July 17, 2012

Gov. Announces Grant to Create 150 Jobs Through VNA

Gov. Peter Shumlin and Judy Peterson, president of the Visiting Nurse Association, today announced a $93,500 grant from the Department of Labor’s Workforce Education and Training Fund to the VNA to create 150 new ‘personal care attendant’ positions, as well as re-train several hundred current attendants.

Personal attendants serve for people with medical needs, as well those who require non-medical assistance, such as personal care and housekeeping.

“This grant will provide the training to increase the number of in-demand personal care attendants in order to help Vermonters stay in their homes and avoid costly and unwanted hospital and nursing home stays,” Gov. Shumlin said. “These jobs are critical to improving people’s quality of life, holding down health care costs, and providing jobs for Vermonters looking to enter the health care and personal care field.”

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 70 percent increase in demand for personal care attendants by 2020 as a growing number of older Americans seek to live at home rather than nursing homes.

Thanks to support from the Labor grant and the Community College of Vermont (CCV), the VNA of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties launched PCA Career Ladders, a new training program for personal care attendants to help provide around-the-clock assistance for hundreds of clients every day. The PCA Career Ladder program includes the Governor’s Career Ready Program, offered by CCV.

The positions range from personal care attendant 1, which provides basic care like hygiene and meals, to level 3 that includes care for patients with traumatic brain injuries and other medical issues. These positions are ideal for people who are considering a health care career and might want to move on to nursing, physical therapy or medical school, Gov. Shumlin said.

“The Community College of Vermont, through the Governor’s Career Ready Program, helps to prepare participants with the skills required to be successful as they begin the Personal Care Assistant program, and as they begin their careers in health care,” CCV’s Workforce Coordinator Tiffany Keune said. That instruction might include computer skills and mathematics.

“The partnership between these two programs is invaluable. The CCV portion of the program boosts overall career-ready skills, and the VNA’s PCA portion of the program builds on those skills with the specific knowledge needed to be a successful PCA,” she added. The VNA training includes so-called ‘soft skills,’ such as preparing nutritious meals.

“Personal Care Attendants are the backbone of the VNA’s long term care services,” said Peterson, the VNA’s new CEO and President. “They interact with people on a very intimate level and have an incredibly important role in an individual’s quality of life. This grant will enable the VNA to offer our current personal care attendants opportunities for advancement and increased job satisfaction, and also allow us to assist more people to join this laudable line of work.”

For more information, attend one of the PCA Career Ladder informational meetings on Wednesday, July 18 at 1 p.m. or Thursday, July 19 at 9:30 a.m. at the Visiting Nurse Association, 1110 Prim Road, Colchester. The free three-week training program begins July 27. For more information contact Anna at the VNA at (802) 860-4447 or visit

Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: July 17, 2012 13:29:22