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Minnesota Program Surpasses Goal Of Recruiting 1,000 Certified Nursing Assistants

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- During the worst part of the COVID-19 pandemic late last year, Minnesota's long-term care facilities were so short-staffed that 400 National Guard troops had to be called in to help.

With $3 million in American Rescue Plan money, Minnesota started a program in January to train 1,000 certified nursing assistants. So far, 1,200 Minnesotans have taken advantage of the deal, which includes tuition, textbooks and exam fees.

On Tuesday, Gov. Tim Walz toured the training facilities at St. Paul College.

"If we or when we see another surge, this issue...in those long-term care facilities will not be the same crisis situation that we saw," he said. "And that gives us a hand up on things."

The governor's budget proposal contains $6.7 million to continue the recruiting program.

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