Tuition Assistance deadline is October 15

Tuition Assistance deadline is October 15

Tuition Assistance Snapshot: In 2021, 1,061 members used Tuition Assistance to support their education goals. Maximum TA amounts are: $3,500 for Service Bargaining Unit members, and $5,250 for Pro/Tech and RN Bargaining Unit members.

Training Fund members can apply for Tuition Assistance (TA) to cover school-related costs like tuition, books, and other fees for approved programs at accredited and approved schools.

The deadline to apply for Tuition Assistance for courses beginning January 2024 or later is October 15, 2023.

Apply early to receive expert guidance and support from our education Navigators!

Note: If you’re currently an active TA user, you do not need to re-apply for this benefit.

The TA benefit is based on your Bargaining Unit and FTE:

  • For Service/LPN bargaining unit members, the current maximum amount for TA is $3,500.
  • For RN and Professional/Technical bargaining unit members, the current maximum is $5,250.

You do not have to be admitted into a program or know the details before applying for Tuition Assistance – our Navigators are available to work with you and create a plan to succeed.   

How to apply for Tuition Assistance: 
  1. Complete a Training Fund member application to connect with an Intake Coordinator and Resource Specialist, and get assigned an Education Navigator
  2. Work with your Navigator on an education plan and resources while Tuition Assistance spots are allocated
  3. Register for classes & submit your request for funding, if you qualify for Tuition Assistance
  4. Explore other benefits with your Navigator, e.g., career counseling and tutoring.
teacher pointing at a computer

My Training Fund Navigator was really great. He walked me through the whole process: applying to the Training Fund, qualifying for Tuition Assistance, and then sending me resources for scholarships to keep my costs as low as possible.

When I was unsure about things, he would reach out on my behalf to help me navigate. He definitely went above and beyond!

Paisha Andersen

Nursing Assistant , MultiCare Deaconess

Member Spotlight: Nkechi Odigwe

Member Spotlight: Nkechi Odigwe

A banner featuring Nkechi Odigwe's picture next to text that reads "Our Members Say it Best!"

Nkechi Odigwe, currently an on-call CNA at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center, is unafraid to reach for her dreams. 

Two years ago, Nkechi was a Nutrition Assistant at Multicare Auburn. She wanted to work toward being a nurse, but knew that there were many obstacles: prerequisites, tests, program costs, applications, and more. 

So she reached out to the Training Fund, which she had heard about from her co-workers. After talking through her career options with a Training Fund staff member, Nkechi enrolled in prerequisite courses at Highline College.  

She also found the Training Fund’s tutoring service for the TEAS exam very helpful. Nkechi notes that the Training Fund “supported me during my nursing prerequisite classes and when I wanted to take my TEAS exam [with] workshops, online tutors, and study books.” 

Nkechi’s Training Fund navigator Joshua Porter (now the Training Fund’s Director of Labor/Management Programs) encouraged her to reach out to local nursing schools for admission. Pretty soon, Nkechi applied and had offers from multiple schools. Joshua helped Nkechi, she says, by “going through my personal statement, resume and cover letter before I submitted it.” Nkechi also got a letter of recommendation from the Training Fund for her nursing residency. 

Nkechi will graduate from Pierce College’s ADN program this spring! After preparing for and passing her NCLEX exam, Nkechi will then work toward her BSN through UW­­-Tacoma’s RN-to-BSN program. 

Training Fund navigators make it easy for members to clarify questions and achieve their goals. Nkechi writes, “The advice and guidance from [Porter] was very helpful. Anytime that I am confused on what to do and call him, he will get back to me without delay.” 

Nkechi wants her coworkers to know that the Training Fund can help them, too: “The Training Fund will help them to advance in their career as they are working and achieve their goal in life. All the assistance and support that they need for their education dream can come from the Training Fund.” 

Contact us today to find out how you can achieve your career and education goals through your Training Fund benefits!

Training Fund and HCAC Host BH Pathways Event

Training Fund and HCAC Host BH Pathways Event

On June 20, the Health Care Apprenticeship Consortium (HCAC) and Training Fund hosted stakeholders from across the state invested in developing educational pathways to behavioral health degree programs. Faculty, administrators, and HCAC staff members gathered to brainstorm ways to meet the state’s behavioral health needs through educational pathways across the state system.

Cynthia DeRocher, an apprentice in the Behavioral Health Technician program, spoke at the event. She said, “The opportunity to do the apprenticeship program and work at the same time has been such a blessing. My employer has been great about accommodating any needs I have. The program has provided any and all resources including their time to assist with any questions on how to do what’s needed to be successful.”

She continued: “I have had help from my teacher on how to format my papers. There is tutoring available, you can schedule a session for help with writing your papers. All the material we need and go over in class is available through the Canvas program which is amazing. Everything necessary for success is available.”

Training Fund ED Laura Hopkins alongside Behavioral Health Tech apprentices Jessica Ramirez and Cynthia DeRocher.

HCAC and the Training Fund are committed to addressing the needs of the state’s behavioral health workforce. The Behavioral Healthcare Apprenticeship Program is a registered statewide apprenticeship program that directly responds to these needs and aims to: promote accessibility to services, build a pathway of skilled and diverse candidates, and stabilize the behavioral health workforce through increased employee motivation and retention.

This innovative program offers three career pathways to address specific areas of concern:

  • Behavioral Health Technician: 1-year program
  • Peer Counselor: 1-year program
  • Substance Use Disorder Professional: 2-year program

Learn more at our webpage highlighting the three programs and sign up to stay up-to-date.

From High School to NA-C: Narielle Mendoza

From High School to NA-C: Narielle Mendoza

As a high school senior, Narielle Mendoza has a busy schedule: classes, tests, extracurriculars. But that didn’t stop her from becoming a Nursing Assistant-Certified (NA-C) earlier this year with the Health Care Apprenticeship Consortium (HCAC).

In collaboration with Tacoma Public Schools, HCAC now offers an innovative NA-C training program for high school students. As the healthcare needs of the state grow, so too does the need for trained healthcare workers. HCAC’s NA-C training program offers a roadmap to filling that need.

Through the program, Narielle learned the ins and outs of life as an NA-C by taking part in classroom work and in-person labs. She even did her clinicals at Multicare Tacoma, shadowing nurses there and putting her skills to the test: “I actually got to use that information [from class and labs] and expand on my knowledge…[It was rewarding] seeing patients in real life and seeing nurses and doctors and other health care professionals. It was truly amazing and inspiring and I got the greatest experience from that.”

Narielle is passionate about helping others live their best, healthiest lives. The NA-C training program’s staff ensured that her passion was met with expert guidance. Narielle credits the instructors: “The teachers, nurses, and the people leading the program were all so friendly and engaging. They welcomed my curiosity and made me excited to have a healthcare career.” 

Narielle had family support along the way, too. Her father, himself a CNA, offered her constant encouragement and guidance. They bonded over her experience in the NA-C program: “He loves healthcare as much as I do and is always inspiring me to see how much you can make a difference to help people who need care.” Narielle’s father gave her some timeless advice, too: learn from your mistakes.

Now, Narielle is set on finishing out her senior year of high school before college begins. She plans to spend this summer working at a nursing home, where she will put her NA-C skills to use: in her words, she will “assist in taking vital signs and measurements such as urine, weight, and blood pressure; feeding; dressing; cleaning; hygiene care; and assisting in exercise.”

With ambitions of becoming an Orthopedic Surgeon, Narielle’s journey is just beginning. Through the HCAC’s NA-C training program and Tacoma Public Schools, she has taken a big step toward living out her dreams. To all the prospective NA-C program applicants, Narielle offers these wise words: “It might be a tough journey to reach your goals, but keep going because you will be proud that you conquered so much. Your next journey is even more fulfilling for people looking up to you to save their lives!”

Looking Ahead: Letter from ED Laura Hopkins

Looking Ahead: Letter from ED Laura Hopkins

Hello and Happy New Year! I hope that you’re having a good start to the year. I’m very proud of what we’ve all accomplished together in 2022 and am looking ahead to serving even more healthcare workers in 2023. 

We are so excited that we were able to fund ALL members who applied for Tuition Assistance by the October 15, 2022, deadline! And we even had remaining funding to cover some members who applied after the deadline. In total, more than 600 eligible members were funded to go back to school in 2022 – this is in addition to those who are already enrolled and working hard to complete their programs. We hope even more members apply for Tuition Assistance this year to take advantage of this valuable life-changing opportunity to advance their careers.  

A warm welcome to our newest members from Providence St. Peter Hospital, Neighborcare Health, and St. Clare Hospital (Virginia Mason Franciscan Health), all of whom joined the Training Fund in 2022. This brings us to nearly 20 employers who partner with the Training Fund and SEIU Healthcare 1199NW and we now have 17,000 members! Watch our welcome video to learn more about the Training Fund. 

We are committed to diversity and equity in everything that we do to promote a healthcare workforce that looks like and represents our communities. 

Thank you for your hard work – we appreciate you and recognize that these are extremely challenging times. Together with SEIU Healthcare 1199NW and our employer partners, we are honored to support you and help you achieve your career and education goals. 

– Laura Hopkins, Executive Director, the Training Fund