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Rennes Group trains more than 150 CNAs during first 14 months of in-house training program

Governor Tony Evers talks with staff at Rennes Rhinelander Facility about their CNA training program.
Katie Thoresen
Governor Tony Evers talks with staff at Rennes Rhinelander Facility about their CNA training program.

The Rennes Group has trained nearly 170 Certified Nurse Aids in-house over the past 14 months.

Rennes is a healthcare group with rehabilitation and assisted living facilities in Wisconsin.

In 2022, the group started training all its CNAs through an internal program. The employer takes on 100% of the costs.

“We offer, with Rennes, the ability for them to get paid while they're taking the class. There are some incentives built in to complete the coursework, because it allows them to be able to use it as a job and have some income while getting their education, which is important. People still have bills to pay despite going to school,” said Nikki Schingick, Rennes President.

People who take a job with Rennes after completing their CNA training and work for them for six months get a $500 bonus.

It’s paid for with funds from the state’s WisCaregiver Career Program.

Rennes has gotten $120,00 in reimbursements through the program. It’s put about $1 million of its own expenses into training staff, buying materials, and paying for online courses.

Governor Tony Evers is calling on the Wisconsin Legislature to invest $6 million into the WisCaregiver Career Program.

He visited the Rennes facility in Rhinelander on Thursday.

“I just wanted to really highlight the work that they do not just with, obviously, the people that are here they're serving, but they're creating, they're working on the workforce here with some financial help from us. But they are creating a group of CNAs that are taught and doing the work right here in the facility,” said Evers.

Schingick says the WisCaregiver Career Program is helpful for building up the healthcare workforce.

“I think it's very important that we continue to talk about how do we have sustainable programs. And so this program has been very helpful. But this isn't a one-and-done. We need the support of funding to promote health care, to promote jobs within education that gives us a path for the future,” she said.

The funding for the program is part of Evers’ larger workforce bill that he wants the legislature to vote on during a special session in a couple of weeks.

That one-billion-dollar plan also includes plans to support childcare facilities, invest in higher education, and create paid family and medical leave.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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