CANTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — Additional funding will help train new staff at a nursing home facility system in St. Lawrence County.

United Helpers has confirmed that funding totaling $144,000 from the Workforce Development Board’s Rural Healthcare Grant program will allow for additional cost-free certified nursing assistant trainings.

“We are grateful to the Workforce Development Board for this grant, which will not only help to better the lives of those who take the class, but also the people in our care,” United Helpers Vice President of Development Christa Carroll said in a press release. “By greatly reducing training costs for our new CNAs, we are able to provide this opportunity to dozens of people from around St. Lawrence County who will see their lives enhanced because of it.”

The funding will cover the $2,000 tuition cost for up to 72 students who enroll in its Certified Nursing Assistant training program through 2023. These classes are offered on a regular basis in Canton.

According to United Helpers, these CNA students can be hired as employees before trainings begin and often work as Task Aides, allowing them to earn income while working on their certification.

“It’s no secret that making time for career training isn’t an easy thing to do, and sometimes due to financial constraints, it’s not even possible,” United Helpers Rehabilitation and Senior Care Vice President of Operations Timothy Parsons added. “This program, though, allows students to further their education and earn income to support their families at the same time.”

United Helpers requires all students enrolled in this program to be at least 18 years-of-age, have a minimum of six months of full-time work experience, be vaccinated against COVID-19 and show proof, or have a medical exemption and be unemployed or underemployed in a low-wage or part-time job.

Interested students can apply on the United Helpers website.