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Free Health Program for English Learners

Submitted by on December 4, 2019 – 3:31 pm

woman in scrubs with stethoscope around her neckNorthern Essex Community College will hold Information sessions for a new, free, job-training program designed to prepare English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) into the work force as certified nursing assistants (CNA) will be held in December and January at 420 Common St. Lawrence.

This program is funded by a $145,000 Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) TRAIN grant and executed in partnership with the MassHire Career Center, MassHire Workforce Board, Lawrence Community Works, and area healthcare providers. The program, titled Healthcare Pathways at NECC, is specifically for unemployed or under employed adult learners with limited English Language skills – many of whom are recent immigrants.

The information sessions will be held in Room LH 206 of 420 Common St., Lawrence, on December 9, 12, 16 and 19 and January 6 and 9 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

The program will run for 12 weeks on the Lawrence (campus), beginning in February and ending in June. There will be two consecutive cycles of 15 students in each. The students will begin with ESOL training. This will continue with an integrated ESOL+ CNA training model that includes clinical rotations and internships. The program is completely free to students. All materials including books, uniforms and fees associated with CORI and Red Cross testing are free to students. Vouchers for transportation and childcare are also available.

Students who complete the program will earn five industry-recognized, “stackable” credentials including Home Health Aid, CNA Certification, ESOL Certificate, CPR Certificate, and six NECC college credits upon enrollment in a Northern Essex health care program.

For additional information on the information sessions or the 12-week Healthcare Pathways at NECC Program, contact Kizzy Borbon, recruiter/coordinator in NECC’s Center for Adult Education at or call her at 978-655-5846.

This program was created in response to the Northeast Regional Planning Blueprint, which identified healthcare as the region’s largest employer, totaling 90,000 jobs. This sector is expected to add nearly 11,000 jobs by 2022. Demand for home health aides is expected to grow by 30 percent while demand for CNAs will grow by 26 percent.