Barclay Friends, a Kendal-affiliated continuing care retirement / life plan community in West Chester, PA, says that it has found that offering paid training opportunities is a game-changer in the recruitment of certified nursing assistants.

Individuals who participate in the senior living community’s paid training program are paid for the three weeks they spend in training, and they then receive immediate employment, with pay starting at $17 an hour, plus health benefits, paid time off and a 503b pharmacy plan.

“Most people can’t commit to three weeks unpaid from their job. It could devastate the finances of the family,” Mariesly Febles, education coordinator at Barclay Friends, said in a press release from the organization. “By providing a paid opportunity to train as a CNA, we empower them to take this next step and ultimately provide a better income for their family.”

Since the CCRC launched its paid training program almost a year ago, 13 students have enrolled. Nine of those participants passed their exams and became CNAs, and six of those CNAs remain employed at Barclay Friends. An additional group of participants will begin the program next month.

“It was incredibly helpful to have on-site experience and guidance from the employees who were more than happy to have us assist them throughout the learning process,” one program participant said.

The CNA training program is made possible through a diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging grant from Kendal Charitable Funds, a 501(c)(3) organization that supports the charitable goals and aspirations of the Kendal Corp. and its affiliates, among others.

Kendal Corp. moved its headquarters to Newark, DE, from Kennett Square, PA, in 2022. The company has 12 communities across nine states: California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.