January 13, 2016
Central Mass Health Care

Century trains nurses at QCC

Courtesy of Century Homecare
James Njoroge, president and CEO of Century Homecare

Worcester home health care provider Century Homecare has partnered with Quinsigamond Community College to train 20 of its home health aides as nurses and eventually, RNs.

The company, which provides home health care statewide, and the Commonwealth have invested about $550,000 into putting 20 of Century's aides through QCC's nine-month nursing certification program. Once they finish school and complete their RN certification, the students will be eligible for management positions at Century.

Eight students started classes last September, and will finish up in June. The next 12 will begin classes in September 2016, said James Njoroge, the company's CEO. The plan is that after they become licensed practical nurses, they will become registered nurses through the College as well, though details of that aspect of the training are still being ironed out, Njoroge said.

Through its Workforce Training Fund, the state invested about $250,000 to cover tuition costs, making Century the beneficiary that received the most money. The company had to match the state's grant, and on top of that contributed about $50,000 extra to go towards students' salaries. Paying students while they're in classes will allow them to focus on school and not have to worry about money, Njoroge said.

"When these people graduate, we're going to have enough nurses to service current clients," he said. "This is an investment in our future."

Since it was founded in 2012, Century has grown from a small local company with just Njoroge, co-founder and current chief operating officer Julius Kihumba and a secretary to a statewide home health operator with over 600 employees and four branches. Their services are in such high demand that they have had to turn clients away. With 20 newly-trained RNs, they will be able to service all of their existing clients more effectively.

"If we have good employees, the patients will follow," Njoroge said.

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