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Unity Point To Train Nursing Aides

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--Unemployment in Iowa has dropped to its lowest level since before the recession.

Workforce development reports just over 4 percent of residents currently are not working.

Thats nearly a full percentage point lower than at this time last year, and the number could go even lower.

One employer is trying to fill positions in a creative way.
Unity point Health Living Centers East and West are partnering with Kirkwood Community College, to provide free certification for a job they say is greatly needed.

Jessica Jons says her job as a certified nursing assistant keeps her busy.

I've always wanted to do the CNA job and I want to work my way up. And I'm like this a good opportunity a good time to do it, she said.

That opportunity came late last year.

Due to their growing need for CNAs Unity Point Health Living Centers decided to offer free certification classes to people looking to get into the field. It was successful so they are doing it again.

"We're not only providing the training but also paying for their classes, Andrew Wagg, Living Center East Administrator.

The goal is to help fill a shortage in the nursing industry.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

That shortage will continue as baby boomers age and the need for health care grows.

Folks at Unity Point say the program is a way to bring people into the industry.

Some like Alicia Kashatka hope to take advantage of it by signing up.

"Finally. You know. Finally I could pursue something that I want to do rather than going to job I don't like doing every day, she said.

As for Jessica, it's a step she's glad she took.

"I want to be there to help people. I want to do that, she said.
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