New Jersey Healthcare Employers District 1199J Training and Development Fund
Our Mission And History
Links to topics on this page

Organization Description

System Experience and Development

Internal Adult Basic Skills and General Equivalency Diplomas

Training Programs to Address Challenges Confronting Bi-Lingual Employees

Computer Literacy and Training

Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) To Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Preparatory Training Program

Additional Student / Employee Activities

Past Accomplishments and Track Record

Youth Services – Youth Transitions to Work ApprenticeshipNJ Department of Labor, Workforce Development

YTTW Past Performance Outcomes

Organization Description


The New Jersey Health Care Employers Training and Development Fund (Fund) has been at the forefront of training and educational development in Newark, N.J. since 1987. In that time, the Fund has initiated numerous training programs which have empowered healthcare workers in the City of Newark and within the tri-county area of Essex, Union and Hudson counties. Our interest in applying for the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) grant is based on the Fund’s unique role as an influential partner in New Jersey’s healthcare, rehabilitative, and medical communities.
The Training & Development Fund is part of District 1199J, a union for hospital and healthcare employees, located at 9-25 Alling Street, in the heart of Newark, NJ. The Union currently represents over 9,000 health care employees at major New Jersey hospitals and nursing homes. Employee representation includes, but is not limited to nurses, service and maintenance, clerical and technical, physical therapy, and professional workers all of whom have indicated they are interested in career development.
The Fund was formed as a joint labor/management collective bargaining agreement to provide upgrading opportunities for employees. Under collective bargaining agreements, employers (hospitals and nursing homes), can elect to make contributions into the Training and Development Fund. Both Labor and Management trustees govern the Fund.  The Trustees and Fund’s Executive Director meet every four months to discuss opportunities for employees and maintain effective communication between employers and employees. Topics of labor and management meetings focus on ways to enhance employees’ educational experiences and equip them with the tools needed for success in upgrading opportunities within the healthcare industry.  The Union often issues Employer-Labor needs assessments to determine employer hiring needs and training requirements. Over the last two years, the Fund has maintained fiscal liquidity, with 15 Union employers contributing $450,706 to the Fund in 2011. There is no turnover rate for permanent case management within the Fund. 

The Fund’s Board of Trustees is composed of four (4) healthcare industry executives and four (4) Union representatives, all of whom have deep roots in New Jersey’s healthcare employment market.
  1. Mr. Sidney Seligman, Administrator, Human Resources Department, Barnabas Health System, Livingston, NJ, serving 15 years;

  2. Mr. Arnold Manzo, Administrator,  Barnabas Healthcare System, Livingston, NJ, serving 15 years;

  3. Mr. J. Brendan Farrelly, Administrator, St. Michael’s Medical Center, Newark, NJ, serving 15 years;

  4. Ms. Susan Grosser, Director, Human Resources, serving 15 years;

  5. Susan Cleary, President, New Jersey Healthcare Employers, District 1199J, serving 5 years;

  6. Craig Ford, Treasurer,  New Jersey Healthcare Employers, District 1199J, serving 3 years;

  7. Phyllis Shivers, Organizer, New Jersey Healthcare Employers, District 1199J, serving 3 years;

  8. Richard Morreale, Organizer, New Jersey Healthcare Employers, District 1199J, serving 2 years.

    Back to top of page


System Experience and Development


Employees who utilize the Fund are primarily minority healthcare workers from lower educational and socioeconomic backgrounds. Minority concentration in the Fund’s employer hospitals and nursing homes is generally found in the departments of Nursing, Housekeeping, Dietary and Transportation.  Specifically, over the past 11 years, affiliated employer Human Resource Departments have shown a high concentration of minority worker employment, particularly African-American, Caribbean, Latina and most recently Haitians, Africans and females.  Unfortunately, the high percentages of minority workers disproportionately occupy lower-level paying positions and remain in the same job on an average of five years.

Employees working for affiliated employers can participate in any of the Fund’s two components, which include Tuition Reimbursement and Internal Training Programs. The Fund’s internal programs are free to members from contributing institutions and have made a significant difference in the lives of its participants. Employees who utilize the Fund’s internal programs are tested using the Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE) upon entrance and exit of each program. Outcomes and achievements are measured, monitored, and evaluated through oral and written tests, pre and post assessments and questionnaires. All employees utilizing the Fund can receive academic advisement from the Fund’s Executive Director who possesses a Masters of Arts in Counseling and a New Jersey Professional Counselor’s license.

Many employees face major barriers for advancement in their careers. On average, an employee will remain at one institution for approximately eight years. Throughout the eight years, most employees remain in the same positions. Financial problems, lack of a high school diploma or GED and the inability to write and speak fluent English are some of the major barriers employees face. Furthermore, outdated skills and lack of computer knowledge pose additional barriers preventing employees to climb the career ladder within their institution. The Fund implemented internal education and training programs to address and assist in breaking down these barriers. For example, during 2000, the Fund implemented and developed the following training programs for employees:

Back to top of page

Internal Adult Basic Skills and General Equivalency Diplomas
The Fund has an Adult Basic Education (ABE) program designed for employees who do not have a high school diploma or a General Equivalency Diploma (GED). The Fund has partnered with Essex County College on several occasions in the last five years on State of New Jersey literacy grants, whereby Union members take ABE courses, while working towards their GED. Some employees utilize the Fund’s ABE program because they are aware of their deficiencies in adult basic skills and have an interest in becoming proficient.  Additionally, employees who may have a high school diploma or GED often take advantage of ABE courses to reacquaint themselves with previous ABE skills. Gaining proficiency in ABE becomes extremely helpful during entrance examinations for higher education and ultimately opportunities for job advancement.

Back to top of page

Training Programs to Address Challenges Confronting Bi-Lingual Employees
Training provided through the Fund addresses the challenges confronting limited or non-English speaking employees by providing English as a Second Language (ESL) programs for its members. More recently, the Fund has experienced an increasing need for ESL training. Importantly, ESL training has assisted many limited or non-English speaking employees with obtaining upgrading opportunities in various departments such as housekeeping, dietary aides and certified nurse assistants (CNA).
Upgrading advantages in turn provide employees with wage increases. For instance, a housekeeper earning an average annual salary of $23,400 can after training seek other positions such as a Physical Therapy Aide or Rehabilitation Aide (average annual salary is $28,760) or a medical assistant (average annual salary is $30,859). Moreover, ESL training programs have frequently assisted limited or non-English speaking employees in maintaining employment when employers have had to down-size and/or transfer employees to more needed positions.

Back to top of page

Computer Literacy and Training
As computer technology permeates more and more of the business and diagnostic end of healthcare, it is imperative healthcare workers be familiar with and proficient in computer technology. The Fund’s Basic Computer Skills training allows members to advance their careers by gaining the computer skills needed to perform in the rapidly growing positions that currently use computer technology.  In addition, the basic computer training program provides employees with the necessary skills needed to function in everyday applications such as developing documents, creating electronic budgets, navigating through search engines and establishing free e-mail accounts.

Back to top of page

Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) To Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Preparatory Training Program 
During fiscal year 2000, the Fund conducted its first training needs assessment, which was distributed to employers and employees.  Findings from the training assessment clearly demonstrated a need to provide upgrading opportunities for CNAs and LPNs. Employers indicated that employees in the two stated job titles seemed to remain in their positions without furthering their education to advance in the nursing field.

Interestingly, employees indicated a need and interest in education and training to prepare for nursing school entrance examinations. Moreover, over 90% of employees surveyed with certified nursing aide / nursing assistant job titles indicated they had taken LPN entrance examinations for nursing programs but were unable to obtain a passing score. Therefore, the employees were unable to further their education in nursing. To this end, during 2001, both labor and management trustees approved the Fund’s development and implementing of an internal preparatory LPN program: Bridging the Gap: Nurses in Transition: CNAs to LPNs.

Since 2001, the Fund has provided a two-tier preparatory nursing program designed to assist certified nurse assistants (CNAs) with increasing general educational skills and introduce an overview of educational requirements needed for entry into licensed practical nursing programs (basic biology, anatomy, physiology, introduction to psychology, introduction to the nursing field, activities of daily living and simulated clinical settings). 

The Fund has made concerted efforts to continually develop and improve its preparatory CNA to LPN nursing program. The primary component of the preparatory training is its intensive basic skills in reading, grammar, math and computers. The Fund has found that exposure to courses directly related to nursing, coupled with intensive adult basic skills and test-taking strategies, CNAs have successfully progressed to becoming LPNs and registered nurses.

The Fund understands that the healthcare system experiences continuous change.  Change not only affects the patients, but also employees.  With many medical breakthroughs, the life span in our society is increasing. Thus, there will always be the need for providing quality healthcare for everyone in the State of New Jersey. In order to maintain quality healthcare, there will be a high-demand to employ workers such as CNAs and RNs in New Jersey.

The structures of programs are similar to that of a county college, thus assisting with the transition to college education. The breakdown of internal education and training program hours offered per week is as follows:

Program
  • Reading
  • English
  • Basic Mathematics
  • Basic Computers
  • Nursing Preparatory Training
  • GED
  • ESL
  • Tutoring
Total Educational Hours = 80
Educational Hours
12 hours
12 hours
12 hours
8 hours
6 hours
12 hours
12 hours
6 hours

Back to top of page

Additional Student / Employee Activities:

Back to top of page

Past Accomplishments and Track Record
During the academic calendar year 2001 to present:
Back to top of page

Youth Services – Youth Transitions to Work ApprenticeshipNJ Department of Labor, Workforce Development
During first quarter 2008, the Training and Development Fund was awarded a State of New Jersey Workforce Development education grant to assist tri-county high school seniors between the ages of 17 and 19 in starting a career in nursing. As a result, the Fund’s Executive Director, Dr. Stephanie Harris-Kuiper liaised with Union-affiliated employers to form a local consortium of employers, educators and medical professionals to design a Certified Nursing Assistant apprenticeship program, known as Youth Transitions to Work Certified Nursing Apprenticeship (YTTW). The YTTW model is part of a Federally supported apprenticeship trade model within the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship and receives Federal funding via annual State appropriations.

The YTTW CNA Consortium formed during 2008 has continued to hold quarterly meetings since its inception. Consortium partners have been expanded since the first grant year to include schools and employer partners and to Community Based Organizations to disseminate information regarding career opportunities through the YTTW CNA Apprenticeship Program.
Members of the consortium represent the following partners:
Members of the consortium represent the following partners:
Back to top of page

YTTW Past Performance Outcomes
The YTTW Certified Nursing Assistant Apprenticeship Program has enjoyed tremendous success during each grant year since 2008. As a result, the Fund was invited to apply for an apprenticeship designation for the occupation of Physical Therapy Aide, and was subsequently awarded a second YTTW grant from the State of Jersey Workforce Development during 2010/2011 to develop an educational program within the field of Physical Therapy. The program, YTTW Physical Therapy Aide Apprenticeship, is a pilot program in New Jersey and the first of its kind in the nation.  Currently, the Fund has formed employer linkages and pledges of support from Newark Beth Israel, Barnabas Health System, Inglemoore Rehabilitation, Greenhill Nursing Home, and ABLE Physical Therapy in Jersey City, NJ and expects to train and place eight high school students as PT Aides this grant year.  The Fund succeeded in posting 100% expenditure within both CNA and PT Aide grants, and has had 100% employment placement. Within both YTTW grants Fund employers include: