September 21, 2022
Corey Egel

CAHF Awarded $26 Million Grant for Workforce Expansion Program

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) announced it is awarding the California Association of Health Facilities (CAHF) $26 million for its Certified Nurse Assistant Program (CNAP).

The five-year, multi-pronged project focuses on substantially increasing the certified nurse assistant (CNA) workforce in California. With the “great resignation” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for a framework to support individuals from the first step of the career ladder into quality jobs with self-sustaining wages is crucial.

“The project will bring awareness to career opportunities in the long-term care field,” said CAHF CEO/President Craig Cornett. “The funding will also increase availability of CNA training programs, provide CNA earn-and-learn opportunities, appropriate resources to increase CNA workforce retention, and professionalize the CNA role.”

CNAP has two approaches that will occur simultaneously: the first is to increase the current CNA workforce. The program will utilize a targeted, statewide advertising campaign consisting of multimedia, multi-language and cross-generational messaging in an effort to reach individuals unaware of the various training and employment opportunities. The project will highlight the rewards of working in long-term care by addressing various workforce needs.

The second is to get provider employers to adopt a program which provides pathways for advanced education for CNAs and links them to wage increases. The process would elevate the CNA role and enable continued growth and recognition.

“Nursing homes employ over 60,000 CNAs across the state,” said Cornett. “An experienced CNA is invaluable to the quality of care delivered to residents in nursing facilities.” 

CNAP will be administered by the Quality Care Health Foundation (QCHF), a non-profit 501 (c)(3) educational foundation affiliated with CAHF.