The Berkshires has a shortage of certified nursing assistants, the Berkshire Eagle reports  that industry relations manager for the MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board Shannon Zayac said:

I don't have the numbers, but we held a health care advisory committee meeting last month and every single one of [the attendees] have openings, Many of them have a couple of hundred hours CNAs need to fill.

The workforce board recently received a two-year, $218,000 state grant to address the local shortage of certified nursing assistants.

The funding is scheduled for the Berkshire Nursing Assistant program, a partnership between Berkshire health care employers, educators and other local workforce development entities that is intended to educate and train 70 local Certified Nursing Assistants over the next two years.

The program will start in February and will have both daytime and online CNA programs, with weekly support services to address the county's growing and persistent problem of nursing assistant shortages.

The online program, which was approved by the state Department of Public Health, will be the first of its kind in the state and was set up to provide opportunities for those residing in rural areas of the Berkshires who can't attend evening training sessions because of transportation issues.

At this time there is only one class at Berkshire Health Systems,  from 4:30 to 9 at night, making it hard for working parents or for people who have a lack of transportation to attend.

The training and services provided for in the grant are free for participants and are geared toward unemployed and underemployed Berkshire residents.

If this is of interest to you and would like more information visit masshireberkshire.com or call 413-442-7177 ext. 118.