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Green River set to deliver onsite C.N.A. training to Birch Creek residents

Nursing Student

In response to community demand, Green River Community College's Professional and Technical Division will be offering a Certified Nurse Assistant course at Birch Creek apartments in Kent starting Winter Quarter. This first time venture is the culmination of many partnerships - Neighborhood House, Workforce Education, and the Nursing Division - and numerous conversations around Green River's role in addressing chronic poverty in South King County.

"Onsite classes afford low income residents the ability to take college level classes in their community, fully supported by a network of social service systems, geared to be successful," said Marla Brown, Neighborhood House's career center coordinator.

While this conversation originated within the Workforce Education department, it was Prof/Tech Dean, Krista Fox, and Nursing Program Director, Mariena Mears who brought this idea to fruition. When Neighborhood House staff approached the Workforce Education department last spring, they were hoping to build a relationship that would result in Green River Community College delivering onsite training programs in high wage, high demand careers. Neighborhood House staff wanted to start with Certified Nurse Assistant as it would offer resident a ladder into the healthcare industry.

"I'm excited to collaborate with our community to encourage life-long learning, especially within the field of Nursing," Mears said.

Birch Creek Apartments are one of the many developments managed by the King County Housing Authority and their charge is to offer affordable housing to the most vulnerable members of our community. Some of the amenities that residents are afforded include access to employment and training services, youth programs and a food bank. This robust offering of services is in part due to Birch Creek's partnership with Neighborhood House, the oldest anti-poverty organization in Washington State. Working closely with both Seattle Housing Authority and King County Housing Authority, Neighborhood House has been the vehicle for delivering employment and training services to these residents.