Nursing assistants school coming to Clanton

Published 12:14 pm Friday, December 3, 2021

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

A new school for training certified nursing assistants is coming to Clanton.

The Nurse Aide Academy of Clanton, with Lance Bolding of Hatley Health Care serving as administrator, is set to open in January.

Clanton recently sold the academy property at, 310 Fourth Avenue N., one of the properties it had recently declared surplus.

“I was talking with Terri Connell, Mayor (Jeff) Mims and (Clanton Chief of Staff) Bob Woods one day at lunch, and I told them … what I was hoping to do, and I was looking for any form of structure that we could lease or rent,” Bolding said.

This led to the Fourth Avenue property and an eventual purchase.

“The city helped us out a lot,” Bolding said. “They really did us a huge favor and helped us get started with this.”

The city’s Industrial Development Board has also been in discussion with Hatley about the program as a part of its focus on workforce development.

Plans are to hold 17 classes of 10 students each per year with Hatley Health Care in Clanton serving as the clinical site.

“We historically had our own class, and it just got it where it was not feasible to have it in the facility,” Bolding said.

This led to a partnership with an outside school for training. However, when that school shut down a few months ago, Hatley began looking at whether establishing a school would be a good option.

“A stand-alone program gives us the opportunity to partner with other facilities and organizations for certifications needs, so if a hospice or home health has someone that puts in an application and says, ‘I would love to get certified and work as a CNA for you,’ there is an opportunity locally for that,” Bolding said.

The school can also give those interested in attending nursing school a good foundation.

According to a brochure for the school, the mission is “to produce certified nursing assistants who have an acute focus on providing their residents the highest level of care possible.”

Terri Walton, who has 18 years of experience teaching CNA courses, will be the instructor. Bolding said Walton is crucial to the academy’s success.

The school is in the licensing process and hopes to start the first class on Jan. 10 or Jan. 31.

Woods said the program could be used by those across the state wanting to complete this training. Bolding said having this central location will be helpful in establishing the program.

More information is available on The Nurse Aide Academy of Clanton Facebook page.

Woods said the project “would serve as a catalyst for his (Mayor Jeff Mims) workforce development initiative.”

Possible partnerships with LeCroy Career Technical Center and Jefferson State Community College are also in discussion.

The city owns land near the Clanton campus of Jeff State that it is hoping to one day development into a workforce development training center.

Mims said conversations have been started with existing industry leaders about partnering to sponsor equipment and funding adult students’ education. The hope is that students in the programs at workforce development training center could get paid once they reach a certain level in the program and have a job as soon as they complete it.

Offering online classes is also being discussed.

In discussions with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Mims has received advice to focus on industries related to aerospace and electric cars, Woods said.