Pro/Tech Conference Travel Funding Award deadline is March 1

Pro/Tech Conference Travel Funding Award deadline is March 1

The Pro/Tech Conference Travel Funding Award application deadline is right around the corner!

Did you know that we provide our Professional and Technical members with up to $1,500 per year (in reimbursements) to attend local and national conferences?*

Apply before Wednesday, March 1 for any conferences that you plan to attend between July and September 2023.

These benefits enable you to attend conferences, advance your career, and minimize personal out-of-pocket costs.

Here’s how it works:

  • Pro/Tech Conference funding can cover the cost of travel (hotel, transportation expenses, etc.) and registration fees.
  • Pro/Tech Professional Development benefits can cover the cost of attending a conference, e.g., registration fees.
  • Both benefits require members to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

The deadline to apply for a Pro/Tech Conference Travel Funding Award is Wednesday, March 1.**

*Applications must be submitted before the conference.

**For conferences between July 1 and September 30, 2023.

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 

Member Spotlight: Alex’s Story

Member Spotlight: Alex’s Story

Alex Knox, a nursing assistant at MultiCare Deaconess, plans to be in school for a long time. Currently taking classes to become a licensed nurse, Alex dreams of going “all the way” to get his Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP). And the Training Fund is an integral part of his plan! 

Alex first heard about the Training Fund at his general orientation at MultiCare. Although he was already in school for nursing prerequisites, he wasn’t yet taking advantage of the Training Fund. All that changed after he met Joshua Porter, then an Education Navigator and currently the Training Fund’s Director of Labor Management Programs. Joshua helped him prepare for the TEAS nursing school entry exam. “I learned more about the Training Fund and the benefits of having this extra money to help through school,” says Alex. “I didn’t want taking out loans to be my only option.” 

Beyond Tuition Assistance, the Training Fund also provided Knox with resources to prepare for his nursing exam: “I was able to prepare for the TEAS, I was given prep materials for the TEAS, I even think I had the TEAS paid for—all reimbursed after passing. Without it, I would’ve been more strapped for cash, so it was great to have that extra help.” The Training Fund, Knox affirms, “helped get me the resources that allowed me to study effectively and that I wouldn’t be able to pay for on my own.” (Learn more about how the Training Fund can support your TEAS preparation here.)

The Training Fund reimburses LPN members up to $300 for specialty certifications and membership in some professional organizations. And Alex has also benefited from the Professional Development opportunities provided by the Training Fund. “I’ve actually also taken advantage of educational benefits,” he says. “I was able to do a training and take a board certification, and I got reimbursed from the Training Fund for that certification .”  

Knox credits Joshua Porter and Diane Sosne, outgoing SEIU1199 NW Healthcare president, as inspirations on his healthcare journey. Knox says, “Joshua supported me and was always there cheering me on, making sure I was connected to resources.” He credits Sosne with being a “beacon.” “I already knew I wanted to be a nurse,” he says, “but she helped ignite a passion.” 

With plans to continue on the path toward a DNP and work in public health, Knox hopes to continue working for a union employer so that he can continue to access the Training Fund’s benefits and services. He also encourages others to take advantage of this unique resource: “There are lots of people who are looking for advancement and who want to climb the ladder. But it’s so difficult working our job and it’s hard to be connected to the resources. It’s so helpful that there’s really one place that you can go to, like the Training Fund, for your continuing education and career needs.” 

 

 

First Cohort Completes ACET Program!

First Cohort Completes ACET Program!

The first ACET cohort poses for a photo, alongside Training Fund staff and ACET program leaders.

The first six participants of the ACET program alongside Training Fund staff and ACET program leaders.

On Thursday, December 1, the first six participants in the Training Fund’s new Advanced Certification for EVS Technicians (ACET) program passed their final exams!

ACET is a healthcare industry-informed 24-hour EVS professional training program that combines interactive online learning and examination with onsite training and assessment. The program supports EVS Techs in learning new skills and possibly earning a raise.

ACET is one of the many labor-management initiatives that the Training Fund has collaborated on to build a stronger, more committed healthcare workforce. Joshua Porter, Director of Labor Management Programs, had this to say about the first ACET cohort:

Building healthier communities benefits us all! Quality healthcare relies upon highly-skilled environmental service professionals, keeping our health system staff and patients safe as they deliver and receive critical care. The Training Fund is honored to announce 100% of our inaugural Advanced Certification for EVS Technicians course participants passed their final exams, earning their new ACET certifications. Join us in celebrating these incredible professionals, who strengthen our healthcare community!

As successful participants of the program, these ACET-certified EVS Techs demonstrated competence in the following areas:

      • Promoting a culture of safety
      • Infection prevention
      • Tools & equipment
      • Waste handling
      • Green training
      • Team & patient engagement

Learn more about the ACET program by watching the video below, and visit the ACET program page to learn more.

Apprenticeship Spotlight: Malissa and Jordan

Apprenticeship Spotlight: Malissa and Jordan

A picture of SEIU Healthcare 1199 leaders and Behavioral Health Apprenticeship program members

L to R: SUDP Apprentice Malissa Kautz, Training Fund Executive Director Laura Hopkins, SUDP Mentor Jordan Brooks, Sea Mar Senior Vice President Claudia D’Allegri.

 

Ask anyone working in behavioral health, like licensed Substance Use Disorder Professional counselor Jordan Brooks, and they’ll tell you the same thing: behavioral health workers are needed now more than ever across Washington state. “These programs that create more behavioral health professionals are going to save lives,” Brooks says. 

The Health Care Apprenticeship Consortium (HCAC) is one such program, rising to the challenge of creating more licensed professionals and building pathways into the workforce. 

HCAC offers apprenticeship opportunities in three in-demand behavioral health career pathways: Peer Counseling, Behavioral Health Technician, and Substance Use Disorder Professional. Apprentices earn a wage while learning on-the-job and completing college coursework. 

Apprentices Earn While They Learn 

Apprentices join the program for many reasons. For Malissa Kautz, an SUDP apprentice in the Fall 2022 cohort, experiences in high school inspired her to “become a counselor to help others navigate challenging issues.” 

But after receiving her Bachelors of Arts with an emphasis in Psychology from the University of Washington, she found that she couldn’t get the sort of counseling job she wanted without a Master’s degree.  

That’s where the SUDP apprenticeship program came in, where apprentices get certified by completing paid on-the-job training and technical instruction in one or two years. Kautz learned about the program hosted at Sea Mar Tacoma Adult Inpatient Treatment Center. Hearing about the program and what the counselors were doing, she says, “ignited my curiosity.” 

Kautz has found the apprenticeship program, where apprentices complete college coursework and work in their future field while earning a full-time wage, better fits her schedule and needs. “I don’t have to worry about missing school to go to work,” Kautz says. “I’m still doing my regular job at the same time. It was an easy transition into going to school as well with this program.” 

The program allows Kautz to bring her experiences on-the-job into the classroom, and vice versa. With a small class size, she can get lots of individualized attention from her professor. “I get prompt feedback from professor as issues come up.” 

Kautz has enjoyed her experience in the apprenticeship program. “I’m grateful for this opportunity and all who are involved with the apprenticeship program,” she says. “Without this program, I wouldn’t be able to follow my ideal career path.” 

Extracurricular Support 

Apprentices receive support beyond the classroom, as well. The apprenticeship program recruits and trains mentors who are experienced professionals in their respective careers. Jordan Brooks, Program Manager at Sea Mar Turning Point in Seattle and licensed SUDP counselor, is one such mentor. 

Brooks has a Master’s degree in Addiction Counseling and joined the Sea Mar team in 2021. He is familiar with the challenges to building pathways into the behavioral health workforce. It took him two years to fulfill the state’s strict SUDP requirements. 

Brooks heralds the SUDP apprenticeship program’s effectiveness and innovative approach: “This program is more streamlined and cleared by the Department of Health, and it helps people finish it quicker and more efficiently. Also, since they are getting paid while they go to school, there is an incentive to complete the program.” 

The HCAC behavioral health apprenticeship program coordinates with mentors, apprentices, and employers to meet growing community needs around behavioral health services. With mentors, instructors, and support from HCAC, apprentices are fully equipped to meet state requirements and excel in in-demand healthcare careers. And for employers, pathways such as the HCAC apprenticeship program offers a tremendous return on investment, as it generates greater employee loyalty and higher productivity.

For more information, visit healthcareapprenticeship.org or contact Mark Beaufait, Director of Education Programs. And be sure to check out this KOMO story on the SUDP program at Sea Mar.

The year is ending, don’t miss out on funding!

The year is ending, don’t miss out on funding!

Let us cover your 2022 expenses.

Apply for education, training, or professional development reimbursements by Dec. 31. The Training Fund encourages you to submit your packets early to make the deadline.

Tuition Assistance

Eligible Tuition Assistance can be reimbursed using this form.

Professional Development

Eligible Professional Development activities can be reimbursed using these forms.

RN Certs/Re-Certs

RN Certs/Re-Certs can be reimbursed using these forms under the Nurses (RN) tab.

Member Spotlight: Galina’s Story

Member Spotlight: Galina’s Story

Our Members Say it Best! Galina's Success Story. A picture of Training Fund member Galina is included.

From a young age, Galina Barko felt called to help those in need. “My entire life I liked to help people. And especially my family in Ukraine. When my grandma got a stroke, and when my father got sick, I always liked to help out.” For her, the healthcare field is the perfect fit.

Galina is currently an Anesthesiology Tech at Spokane’s MultiCare Valley Hospital, one of the Training Fund’s partner sites. As an Anesthesiology Tech, Galina provides vital and lifesaving care for patients undergoing anesthesia in the Operating Room (OR).

From Housekeeper to Anesthesia Tech

Galina began her healthcare journey at MultiCare Deaconess Hospital as a housekeeper for seven years, first as a general housekeeper and more recently as an OR housekeeper. Support from the Training Fund has enabled Galina to advance her career in healthcare.

While she “really liked” what she was doing in the OR, Galina’s life goal was to become an Anesthesia Tech – an ambition that meant going back to school to get her CNA license. That’s where she first encountered the Training Fund.

“I asked a couple co-workers about how I could get my CNA as fast as I could. And one coworker gave me Joshua Porter’s number, and I connected with [him].” Porter, who is now Director of Labor Management Programs, was a Regional Educational Navigator (REN) with the Training Fund at that time. RENs are Training Fund staff who work one-on-one with members to connect them with resources to support their career goals.

Working with the Training Fund

Together, Joshua and Galina mapped out a career path that helped Galina utilize Training Fund services to build the necessary skills and proficiencies. “He helped me a lot,” Galina said. “He explained [to] me and gave me suggestions on…how to apply [for a CNA program], how the Training Fund can help.”

When Galina needed help improving her English, Joshua found a tutor who could continue working with her to help her succeed. Galina, whose first languages are Ukrainian and Russian, remembered that “after I completed my [CNA] course, he also brought me an idea to have a tutor, and I can work with a tutor, and the tutor can help me improve my English and give me more success. And that’s when I started to work with [Training Fund tutor] Tula Holmes. And we’ve been working together, and she has helped me out…She’s my motivator!”

What’s Next?

With Tula’s support, Galina has now set her sights even higher: a nursing degree. She has enrolled at Spokane Community College to begin preparing for the SCC Nursing Program. Asked how she was feeling, Galina replied, “Excited!…I like to be in school. Some people don’t like it, but I really like it.”

Galina values the confidence and encouragement that she received from her REN and the Training Fund: “I remember Joshua said, ‘Oh, Galina, you will be okay. You will be a good nurse. Don’t think you don’t have enough English to go to college.’ I really needed that because sometimes a new language is tough.”

Galina now advocates for the Training Fund’s programs and services among her coworkers, touting the Fund’s positive impact on her career and professional goals. Particularly after working with her tutor, Galina told everyone she knew, “You can have [a tutor] also… I told a bunch of my friends who need extra help and a free tutor!”

Galina is one of thousands of healthcare workers across Washington state who have benefitted from the Training Fund’s programs, support services, and resources, including: specialty certifications, healthcare apprenticeships, Tuition Assistance, English language support, individualized career counseling and more. The Training Fund is committed to helping its members reach their educational and career goals.

Welcome to the Training Fund, St. Peter members!

Welcome to the Training Fund, St. Peter members!

Training Fund banner that reads, "Welcome St. Peter members!"

Welcome to our new members from Providence St. Peter Hospital! You will be eligible for our programs and services beginning November 1, 2022.

We offer education and career advancement programs so that you can develop your skills, advance your career, and improve your professional opportunities. After November 1, please fill out our online member application to access available academic and career navigation services.

Watch our welcome video to learn more about the Training Fund!

These programs and services are available to you after you have been employed by St. Peter for three months:

A postcard displaying November 1 start date for St. Peter members' access to Training Fund. Partner Liaison Elena is introduced.

  Tuition Assistance

Once you have worked at St. Peter for one year, you may also qualify for Tuition Assistance, which covers tuition, fees, and book costs for a wide variety of healthcare education programs at regional colleges and universities. But even if you have not yet worked at St. Peter for one year, please contact us to explore academic support and resources, career planning, and how we can help you reach your goals.

Your Tuition Assistance application deadline is December 15, 2022 if you plan to attend school beginning April 2023 or later. We encourage members to contact us early to work with a Training Fund Navigator on your education plan.

Click here to learn more about Tuition Assistance. To begin the Tuition Assistance process, submit a Member Application form at the link below.

If you are currently in school and have already been receiving Tuition Reimbursement from your previous Education Fund, you may be able to add Tuition Assistance from the Training Fund. Please complete a Member Application form and connect with us to learn more about next steps.

Learn About Your Benefits!

Please contact the Training Fund’s Partner Liaison for St. Peter, Elena Bernardi, to learn more about our programs and services.

We look forward to serving you as you pursue your education and career goals.

If you have questions or need help applying, please don’t hesitate to call the Training Fund office (425-255-0315) or email us.

“The training fund is here! For more than a decade we’ve been pushing Providence to join and with this great win we now have access to the great wrap around services our health career fund has to offer.  This good news means workers who might be struggling financially wont be stopped by the cost of educational and career advancement. This helps recruitment and retention and establishes an internal pathway to help fill positions.  This has been a long time coming and is a real game changer for folks here at St. Pete’s.”

Desmond Ellis

Welcome to the Training Fund, Neighborcare!

Welcome to the Training Fund, Neighborcare!

Welcome to our new members from Neighborcare Health!  You will be eligible for our programs and services beginning September 1, 2022.

We offer education and career advancement programs so that you can develop your skills, advance your career, and improve your professional opportunities. After September 1, please fill out our online member application to access available academic and career navigation services.

Watch our welcome video to learn more about the Training Fund!

These programs and services are available to you after you have been employed by Neighborcare for three months:

Tuition Assistance

Once you have worked at Neighborcare for one year, you may also qualify for Tuition Assistance, which covers tuition, fees, and book costs for a wide variety of healthcare education programs at regional colleges and universities. But even if you have not yet worked at Neighborcare for one year, please contact us to explore academic support and resources, career planning, and how we can help you reach your goals.

  • Tuition Assistance application window: September 1 – October 15 (to cover school beginning January 2023 or later)
  • We accept applications year-round and award Tuition Assistance after October 15. We encourage members to contact us early to work with a Training Fund Navigator on your education plan.
  • If you are currently in school and have already been receiving Tuition Reimbursement from your previous Education Fund, you may be able to add Tuition Assistance from the Training Fund. Please contact us to discuss this.

Learn About Your Benefits!

Please contact the Training Fund’s Partner Liaison for Neighborcare, Elena Bernardi, to learn more about our programs and services:

Already enrolled in a tuition-assistance program and need to get transferred to the Training Fund? Please complete a Member Application form and connect with us to learn more about next steps.

For a while, I was a single mom, I was in an abusive relationship and I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life and I was unsure about the future. After I left the situation I was in, I was totally lost; I had no education and no hope, I was utterly terrified in the world with three small children to support.

I met my now husband when I was 31. He helped put me through MA school so that if anything were to ever happen to him, I would have a future for myself and my children. As we have built a life together, I have realized that an education was always going be put on the back burner due to having kids, and having responsibilities outside of work; I became comfortable in my position as an MA. I never thought that being an RN would be feasible or within my grasp because of not being able to pay for it, or finding the time for school, or even having the emotional capability of doing so. So when we fought for our Training Fund, I did not think that it would benefit me because I had so many other things on my plate. Because we have a strong union at Neighborcare we were able to win the Training Fund for our medical assistants in our new contract. This is life changing for me–I now see that an education is within my grasp.

I now have the opportunity to further my career, to build more stability, but most of all, to show my children that it’s never too late to become what you want, to aspire to be more.  From my personal experience, I’m not only lifting myself up, but I am also showing my daughters that generational poverty doesn’t have to be a cultural norm and that financial stability and self-worth are achievable. I am showing all of my children that it’s never too late to dream.

Kristin Ortega

MA, High Point Clinic

We look forward to serving you as you pursue your education and career goals.

If you have questions or need help applying, please don’t hesitate to call the Training Fund office (425-255-0315) or email us.

Tuition Assistance deadline is October 15!

Tuition Assistance deadline is October 15!

The Training Fund is proud to offer our members the opportunity to apply for Tuition Assistance (TA), which can cover school-related costs like tuition, books, and other fees for approved programs at accredited and approved schools.

The deadline for applying for Tuition Assistance for courses beginning January 2023 or later is October 15, 2022.

We encourage you to apply early to receive expert guidance and support from our trained Navigators!

You do not have to be admitted into a program or know exactly what you want to do before applying for Tuition Assistance. Our Navigators will work with you to make a plan no matter where you are in your academic or career journey.   

For Service bargaining unit members, the current maximum amount for TA has been set at $3,500.
For RN and Professional/Technical bargaining unit members, the current maximum has been set at $5,250.
The TA benefit is based on your FTE. 

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.
To apply for Tuition Assistance: 
  1. Complete a Training Fund member application to get connected with an Intake Coordinator and Resource Specialist, who will assign you an Education Navigator
  2. Work with your Navigator on an education plan and resources while Tuition Assistance spots are allocated
  3. Register for classes and submit your request for funding if you qualify for Tuition Assistance
  4. Explore other benefits such as career counseling and tutoring with your Navigator

“My Training Fund Navigator was really great at counseling me. 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 minimal 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