CNA program helps to directly connect Windward students to local employers

Student Shelly Sarcilla works with a resident at Ann Pearl Care Home – Courtesy of Noe Puaauli

The Hawai‘i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations recently awarded WCC’s Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Apprenticeship Program a contract that supports paid apprenticeship positions with one of 10 employer-partners.

“We will guide each CNA or nurse aide with employer-partners that match their career plans,” said Jamie Boyd, WCC’s director for the Health Careers Pathway, who wrote the contract proposal. “Students can persist in higher education courses while completing the 2,000-hour apprenticeship.”

Employer-partners in the program include Adventist Health at Castle Medical Center, Aloha Nursing & Rehab Center, Ann Pearl Care Home, Hale Ku‘ike Bayside, Kina ‘Ole Estate and others.

The CNA Apprenticeship Program is designed to train students to qualify for advanced positions that could lead to higher wage jobs in the healthcare industry and to reduce the Nurse Aide (NA) and CNA workforce shortages.

It also aims to develop and support an employer network so that employers have closer connections with trained students ready to fill job vacancies and to connect students to health career pathways and higher education.

The Hawai‘i Department of Labor named personal and home care aides as one of the 50 fastest growing occupations in the state. According to, by 2020, Hawai‘i’s population is expected to be 18.8 percent elderly (residents who are age 65 or older). That is expected to increase to 23.3 percent by 2030.

The first seven-week CNA course at WCC will start on Nov. 6. Five classes per year are expected to train 50 new apprentices.

After completing the training, students may earn a certificate as a nurse aide or qualify to take the state’s CNA certification exam.

For more information about the WCC CNA Apprenticeship Program and Nursing Pathway, contact program manager Noe Puaauli at 235-7329 or


by Leighland Tagawa, Ka ‘Ohana Co-Editor In Chief