First Cohost of Enhanced CNA Program Graduate Lauded at Capital Community College

capitalcc Press Releases

Hartford, Conn. (December 6, 2019) – Earlier this month, Capital Community College celebrated the graduates of its 1199 Enhanced Nurse Aide Certification Program. The non-credit program is a partnership of Capital Community College, 1199 Training Fund and Capital Workforce Partners. 

 Over 100 attendees commended the successful inaugural venture with the SEIU Healthcare 1199NE union to advance the education of its Personal Care Attendant (PCA) members by training them as Certified Nurse Aides. Family and friends, along with faculty, staff and community partners were on-hand to applaud the students’ accomplishments. 

 Special guests included Steve BenderExecutive Director, 1199 Training Fund; Deborah Schwartz, Vice President and Homecare Director, SEIU 1199 New England; Marianne Martinez, Capital Workforce Partners, and Melissa Morton, State of Connecticut PCA Workforce Council. Remarks were delivered by graduates Lynnette Dockery, CNA; Teshonna Glover, CNA; and Claire Martin, CNA. 

 “The 1199 Training Fund is a unique opportunity for members of this local union chapter to upgrade their skills, and achieve enhanced certification as nurse aides. CNAs are a higher paying job classification in Connecticut, therefore these graduates can not only increase their family incomes, but made significant additional contributions to the state’s workforce needs, stated Ruth S. Krems, BSN, RN, Coordinator, Nurse Aide Certification Program at Capital. Graduates also have the opportunity to apply for academic credit at both Capital Community College and Charter Oak State College, which can start them on the path to an associate degree. 

SEIU Healthcare 1199NE plans to run the program again in the spring at Capital Community College, and to replicate its success in New Haven, Bridgeport and Waterbury.  

As graduate Claire Martin describes the program, “We pushed each other, we studied together, when we became anxious or stressed we supported and encouraged each other. Our class became more intimate, as our lectures would prompt discussions about experiences that touched us, from the hilarious to the somber, sharing personal stories that shaped who we are, stories of overcoming, of grief and loss. We laughed together, we cried together, we bonded in a way I never could have anticipated at the start of those 12 weeks.” 

 She continued, “This program has been such a blessing to all of us, and has changed our lives forever. It was 12 weeks that now feels like a moment in time, something that could never have been planned or recreated. 12 weeks that not only have changed our professional journeys, but our personal ones also.” 

 The graduates and their hometowns are: 

Bristol: Bobbie-Jo Kennan 

East Hartford: Elaine Adams, Glasmine Dunbar, Ruth Swinton 

East Windsor: Veronica Santana 

Hartford: Melissa BerneyChristeena Crowley, Teshonna Glover, Tasha Jordan, Basudeo Persaud, Erik Rivera, Luz Taylor 

Meriden: Lynnette Dockery 

Middletown: Claire Martin 

Vernon: Lori Hall 




 About SEIU Healthcare 1199NE 

In Connecticut, over 19,000 workers belong to District 1199. They include nurses, CNAs, technicians, clerical employees, service and maintenance workers, and more in a variety of settings such as state service, nursing homes, hospitals, community programs for the developmentally disabled, and other important venues.  District 1199 is affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a union of about 2 million diverse members in healthcare, the public sector and property services. 

 About Capital Community College 

Capital Community College is an urban, two-year institution enrolling more than 3,000 students in Connecticut’s capital city. The college offers 60 academic programs in accredited studies preparing students for associate degrees, certificates and transfer, while its non-credit offerings prepare students for the immediate needs of the Connecticut workforce.  It is one of New England’s most diverse campuses with a 67 percent minority enrollment and was the first college in Connecticut to be designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution. The Capital Community College experience revolves around its historic eleven-story, Art Deco building in the heart of downtown Hartford, which offers unprecedented access to the city’s cultural and employment offerings.