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Graduates of Unique New Labor/Management Healthcare Workforce Training Program Honored Today in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Northern California healthcare workers who have advanced their careers through a union-negotiated, employer-funded education and training program will be honored Friday at a graduation celebration of the SEIU UHW-West & Joint Employer Education Fund.

The workers, 2006-2007 graduates of the fund's programs, are employees of hospitals that participate in the statewide education and training fund, including Kaiser Northern California and Catholic Healthcare West. Founded in 2004 and the first of its kind on the West Coast, the fund is the result of an historic union and healthcare employers partnership aimed at ensuring a future hospital workforce that is highly skilled and provides the highest quality of patient care.

"We are extremely proud of these graduates in particular and the Joint Employer Education Fund in general," said Sal Rosselli, president of SEIU United Healthcare Workers West and a guest speaker at Friday's event. "These workers haven't just moved up the career ladder and improved their lives -- the healthcare workforce and ultimately, patient care has been improved. It's an example of what can be accomplished when the employer and the union work together towards a common goal."

In addition to Rosselli, scheduled guest speakers include: State Senate candidate and former Assemblywoman Wilma Chan of Oakland, and Cheri Kunold, director of Diversity and Lifelong Learning, Catholic Healthcare West. Also speaking will be graduates from the East Bay and Central Valley, who have advanced into higher-paying Registered Nurse and Radiologic Technicians positions through the fund's stipend and upgrade programs.

The graduates are among some 3,400 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members the Ed Fund has served since 2005. "These graduates have studied long and hard to attain success and rise up the career ladder in their fields," said Joan Braconi, executive director of the Education Fund. "We congratulate them and honor them for their achievements."

More than 70,000 healthcare workers who are SEIU members across California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington are eligible for the Education Fund benefit, Braconi said. Services provided by the fund at no charge to participating members include: career counseling, career upgrade programs, which provide training for members to move into hard-to-fill positions, healthcare-related prerequisite courses and professional development courses for nurses and other healthcare professionals who need continuing education credits to maintain their license or certificate.

"The Education Fund helped me realize my dreams of becoming an RN," said stipend graduate Ronaldo De Leon. A Hayward resident, De Leon upgraded from nursing assistant/unit clerk to Registered Nurse at Washington Hospital, Fremont with stipend assistance from the fund. "Before getting the stipend, it was hard working fulltime and being a fulltime nursing student and I was afraid I wasn't going to make it. But here I am a new grad RN with the promise of a new beginning. I hope other members will take advantage of the support the Education Fund offers."

Event Details

Date: Friday, October 19

Location: Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway, Calvin Simmons

Ballroom, 2nd Floor

Time: 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

This event is by invitation only. However, media and press

representatives of all types (print, television, radio, web)

are welcome.

About the SEIU UHW-West & Joint Employer Education Fund

The Education Fund is negotiated by the Union and Employers as part of collective bargaining agreements and is governed by an equal number of Union and Employer trustees. Our goals are to provide educational and training opportunities for healthcare workers, enhance career advancement and employment security, and contribute to an excellent standard of quality care. To find out more about the Education Fund visit us on the web at

Contact: Shawn Masten, Communications Manager, SEIU UHW-West & Joint

Employer Education Fund 1.510.869.2214(desk)


SOURCE SEIU UHW-West & Joint Employer Education Fund
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