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New Nurse Aide Training Center Celebrates First Graduates

From left: Instructor Katrina Allard, RN, BSN; graduates Jamirah Tate, Imee Smajda, Mikka Jones, Aniyah Davidson, Dajore Steath; and instructor Megan MCQuade, RN, BSN.
The non-profit training center was formed to help solve Pennsylvania’s long-term care staffing crisis

PITTSBURGH – Dozens of friends, family members, staff, and supporters gathered on Wednesday, April 24, to celebrate the inaugural graduating class of the Nurse Aide Training Center (NATC), an innovative new program launched by the non-profit Training & Education Fund (TEF).

The occasion was marked by a small ceremony hosted by LGAR Health & Rehabilitation Center in Turtle Creek, where the five students completed their clinicals – the hands-on portion of their training conducted under supervision OF TEF Nurse Aide instructors.

Pittsburgh’s five newest healthcare professionals – Mikka Jones and Aniyah Davidson, of Monroeville, and Dajore Steath, Imee Smajda, and Jamirah Tate, of Pittsburgh – will take their certification exams soon and will have jobs waiting for them through TEF partner employers.

“Looking ahead, I’m excited to continue my education and pursue a career as an RN,” said Mikka Jones, a graduate of the newly formed NATC. “I encourage the incoming students to embrace the journey, knowing that the Training & Education Fund and instructors like Katrina [Allard] and Megan [McQuade] will give you the confidence and skills to succeed.”

The Training Center was created to help solve the long-term care staffing crisis and create a path for Allegheny County community members to access family-sustaining healthcare careers. The center offers a part-time schedule that allows for a more flexible learning opportunity and also guaranteed job placement assistance after students pass their certification exams.

“We’re incredibly proud of our inaugural class of new CNAs. This first cohort of students have spent weeks mastering the knowledge and skills of a top-notch caregiver,’ said Lisa Williams, executive director of the TEF. “We created the Nurse Aide Training Center as part of our core mission to enhance the quality of care and services in the healthcare industry and support those workers in achieving their career and personal development goals. We think the Training Center is a key part of the mission.”

The Nurse Aide Training Center is accepting applications now for its May 13 course start date. Contact the Training & Education Fund at 1-888-331-6540.


The Training and Education Fund is a nonprofit organization aimed at enhancing the quality of care and services in the healthcare industry. We support healthcare workers by helping them achieve their career and personal development goals and help healthcare employers to foster a stable, highly-trained workforce to meet the needs of all Pennsylvanians.

Our Impact This Year

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