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Monroe County announces COMIDA investment in healthcare training

File photo
The Monroe County Office Building.

Monroe County has taken steps toward trying to relieve the shortage in health care workers that has affected New York and a number of other states, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic.

County Executive Adam Bello announced recently that COMIDA, (County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency), which is the county’s economic development agency, will invest $300,000 in training. COMIDA is working with 1199SEIU which represents healthcare workers throughout the area.

COMIDA will help the union create and operate a one-year training program, and Bello said that one of the goals is to help free up space in hospitals which get overcrowded when nursing homes cannot take in patients due to staffing issues.

“What's happening is that patients who are in the hospital system and end up in the hospital to be treated, are having trouble finding placement in a long-term care facility, or even a rehab facility at a nursing home or something of that nature,” said Bello. “And then they end up getting stuck in a hospital, which is really not the right place for them to be the right level of care.”

Bello added that the county will also try to assist with wrap-around services for local residents, “whether it's transportation, childcare, things of that nature, to really help break down those barriers that exist between people who are looking to get into the healthcare space, and in the jobs that currently exist.”

Recruitment for the job training program will target 65% of community residents and 35% currently employed 1199SEIU workers from historically underserved communities of color.

COMIDA board chair Ann Burr said that agency “understands the important of having a strong, skilled local healthcare workforce.”

And Tracey Harrison, 1199SEIU vice-president for the Rochester/Corning division said this program will include training for entry level positions such as Certified Nurse Assistant, Patient Care Technician and phlebotomy.