SUNRISE SUMMIT — Hampshire High students who complete their nurse aide training now have the opportunity to be hired as temporary aides at the Hampshire Center. 

Through the health occupation and nursing programs at HHS, students can get their foot in the door of the health field by working with Genesis, the company that runs the Hampshire Center. 

Michelle Abruzzino, the Center’s executive director, said that hiring has been difficult lately for them, so this partnership is beneficial for both the Center and the high school. 

“Prior to the pandemic, we usually had a flow of applicants for open Certified Nursing Aide positions. Like most businesses, we have experienced challenges with hiring,” Abruzzino explained. “This year, the high school’s CAN class will be a crucial component to hiring new aides. It’s definitely a win-win situation for us.” 

Students will have the opportunity to complete their clinicals in the Center, which Abruzzino said can allow them to learn the necessary skills to become a CNA, and also get to know the Center’s residents. 

“We will also be planning on employing some of the students while in their class to have additional on-the-job training,” she added. 

Kristie Long, health occupations teacher at HHS, said that the Center has been “awesome” to work with, and with the pandemic seeing virus numbers rise countywide, students will still be able to gain experience, even during an outbreak. 

“As Genesis employees, the students would still be allowed to be in the building because of their vaccination status and because of the testing done by the Center on such a regular basis,” Long explained. 

As Abruzzino said, it’s a win-win for both the Center and the high school, since it helps a bit with hiring pressure at the Center for nurse aides, and students in the nursing program can get the necessary experience to step forward in their career path. 

“These students will really be able to see what it is like to work in a nursing facility before they get into college and are on the path to being in (the healthcare field),” Long said. “That’s important because college and technical education after high school is expensive, to say the least.” o

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