Louisville, KY-based Trilogy Health Services will invest $10 million in its home state to train high school students for healthcare careers, the organization announced at a Friday press conference.

Half of the investment will be made in the Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville. The Trilogy Scholar Program will launch in four JCPS schools — Marion C. Moore School, Waggener High School, Valley High School and Doss High School — and will expand to additional schools within the district and across the state throughout the year, according to Trilogy.

The move comes as nationally, through 2025, the senior living industry will need to hire 1.2 million new employees to serve the increasing number of older adults becoming senior living residents and to replace existing workers who leave their jobs, according to a report by Argentum, “Getting to 2025: A Senior Living Roadmap.”

“We are excited about the opportunity to invest in work-based learning within the communities we serve,” Todd Schmiedeler, senior vice president of foundation and workforce development for Trilogy Health Services, told McKnight’s Senior Living. “The schools were selected in partnership with the school system because of proximity to our campus, existing healthcare pathway and existing clinical relationship. We plan to expand the program to additional schools based on similar criteria.”

The other half of the organization’s announced investment will be made in the cities of Lexington, Harrodsburg and Cynthiana, Schmiedeler said.

Students in the Trilogy Scholars Program will complete a 96-hour pre-apprentice externship before beginning a paid position with Trilogy. Participants will be able to receive on-the-job experience and earn college credit, certifications, paid college tuition and scholarship opportunities.

“We want to empower these students to enter the healthcare field earlier,” Schmiedeler said. “That way, they can begin making a positive impact in the lives of others while setting themselves up for success in the future.”

Trilogy has set a goal to hire 200 Kentucky high school students annually over the next five years through the program. Positions are expected to include nurse aides, dietary aides, guest relations associates, environmental services assistants, life enrichment associates and maintenance assistants.

“No matter the career path a student chooses, they will benefit from all of the workforce development programs hardwired into Trilogy’s employee experience, as well as a culture of compassion that we’re enormously proud of,” Schmiedeler said.

Trilogy, a subsidiary of Griffin-American Healthcare REIT III, operates more than 110 communities offering independent and assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitative services across Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

“We plan to expand the program in our other states,” Schmiedeler said, adding that a timeline has not been not confirmed yet. “We are working with our state officials, partner schools and campus leaders to determine potential launch within their area,” he said.

Ongoing efforts

The Trilogy Scholars Program is part of Trilogy’s ongoing efforts to address workforce needs.

For instance, in 2017, the company committed $50,000 to fund six annual scholarships to encourage undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Southern Indiana to pursue clinical and nonclinical careers in assisted living and memory care communities, skilled nursing facilities and other settings serving older adults.

Trilogy also is part of Argentum’s Apprenticeship Steering Group, announced last year to develop a pathway for what Argentum believes is the first national apprenticeship for nursing assistants and other caregivers in senior living.

Also last year, Trilogy partnered with Purdue University Global to provide a fully-funded-education employee benefits program through which Trilogy employees can pursue any degree they choose, including related fields of nursing, health sciences and business, at no cost to them. And the organization also began offering an expanded suite of education assistance benefits, through a partnership with Tuition.io, to help employees manage the cost of higher education and alleviate their student debt, hoping to improve employee retention along the way.

As for the Jefferson County Public Schools, Masonic Homes Kentucky, which operates three campuses in the state, announced a new partnership with the district in November. Participants in the registered apprenticeship program for certified nursing assistants are expected to complete at least 144 hours of related healthcare training and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.

“Masonic nurses will have the opportunity to share their knowledge, earn more money and recognition, and gain leadership skills by applying to become mentors to the apprentices,” the organization said at the time. “We are not only improving our talent pipeline but also creating new opportunities for our current employees to ensure consistent delivery of remarkable service and quality care to our residents.”

seven people in front of a Trilogy banner
Celebrating Friday’s Trilogy Health Services announcement, from left: Marion C. Moore School Interim Principal Traci Morris; Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman; Moore students Katelyn Nuckolls and Makenzie Regenauer; Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Marty Pollio, Ph.D.; Trilogy Health Services SVP of Foundation & Workforce Development Todd Schmiedeler; and JCPS Assistant Superintendent Christy Rogers. (Photo courtesy of Trilogy Health Services)

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