Ep:58: How Senior1Care Uses Their CNA Training School as a Leading Recruitment Tool
Kyle Bossung, Co-Founder and President of Senior1Care in Indiana tells his story about starting a CNA school inside of his operation and why they've chosen training as their competitive advantage.
Miriam Allred (00:08):
Welcome to Home Care Live, everyone. My guest today is Kyle Bossung, the Co-Founder and President of Senior1Care in the greater Indianapolis area. Kyle, welcome to the show!
Kyle Bossung (00:21):
Thank you for having me pleasure to be here!
Miriam Allred (00:24):
We’re going to dive into caregiver training. We’re going to talk about how it’s driving some recruitment and retention initiatives right now. So really, I just want to have you kind of tell your story around why you guys have used training as your differentiator and why it led you to start a CNA school and what that’s doing for your operation today.
Kyle Bossung (00:47):
Sure. I’d be happy to. So I think early on when we started the business back in 2006 one of the things that we consistently talked about was how could we be differentiated from our competitors? And at that time in order to find caregivers, many organizations were putting ads in the newspaper and they would hire someone in it, minimum wage. And that would be the type of person that they would hire. And we felt that we needed to do something a little bit different. And so early on in our process, when we were developing our forms and our documents and our logos on the kitchen counter, we said, okay, let’s, let’s go out and try to hire a higher caliber individual who is going to be able to represent us well in the community. And so at that time we had some discussion and we said, let’s, let’s go after CNS.
Kyle Bossung (01:49):
And it’s interesting because early on in the process, when we started telling individuals that we were hiring CNAs, or we were looking to attract them, there were many people in our community some of our referral sources and even our organizations around the state had said, you know, why are you, why are you looking for CNAs? You don’t need CNAs. Cnas are more for your nursing homes and assisted living and your hospitals and so forth. But, you know, we were steadfast in that approach and said, you know what, we’re going to bring a higher caliber person on who who’s well-trained, who knows how to assist with a transfer who knows how to bait someone and all of those hands-on skills, because we felt if we’re going to be doing those things, we should have people who know how to do them.
Kyle Bossung (02:38):
And so it was going to cost us a little bit more in terms of what it, what it was going to cost for a, an hourly pay rate. So in some cases it could be 2, 3, 4 bucks more an hour, but again, early on, we just said, this is something that we want to do. And it’s something that could differentiate us. There’s not a lot of other competitors at that point in time who we’re hiring CNAs. And actually right after we started going through this process, or the first couple of years, we did start to see more of our competitors take that same approach, where they were going to be hiring a certified nursing aides and and so forth. And so around that time, we were looking to at our strategy and say, okay, where can we find them? I mean, we can obviously put an ad in the paper and you know, look for CNAs that way.
Kyle Bossung (03:27):
You could put an ad online, but we had located a school. There’s a CNA training school located downtown, south bend. And it was run by three retired nurses. And they were in business for 15 years and they had just an impeccable reputation around the community. And we had a cup of coffee with them and just wanted to see if they would allow us to come into their class, which, which happened about once a month and allow us to at least put on a pitch for any of their students that might want to get into home care. And each class had usually about 15 to 16 people in, in the in the class. And from those, those presentations that we gave, we would attract maybe three to four really, really high caliber CNAs. And so it was at that point, just a really, really good recruiting tool.
Kyle Bossung (04:24):
And they were top notch. They were, they were well-trained, they were personable they could interact with, with the clients. And so we found it just an invaluable type of resource. Well, several years down the line, after we were doing this, the state had restructured the guidelines for what it was going to take to become a CNA where you were tested on. I believe it was 41 or 42 procedures. The state said, okay, well now you’re going to have to be tested on upwards of 72 procedures. And at that point in time the three ladies had come to us and said, you know what, we’re, we’re, we’re already in retirement. We really don’t want to reinvent the wheel and, you know, have to restructure all of our documents and redo everything. So we’re actually just thinking of retiring and we’re just going to dissolve the entity that they had created.
Kyle Bossung (05:18):
And at that point, my father and I at the time had some discussions and said, well, we, we certainly understand and respect their position, but selfishly we were, it was a great source of finding really, really good people. And so we were, you know, thinking of some ideas and one of them was, well, what if, you know, what, if we could somehow transition their CNA training school into a new entity that would be owned by senior OneCare and transitioned many of the same instructors that did such a fabulous job with the, the current training school that the three nurses had created. And, you know, let’s, let’s see what we can do and operate it. And so long story short, we ended up coming up with our very own CNA training school, which we started about seven years ago. And it’s called legacy CNA training legacy, meaning from the legacy that the, the three nurses kind of left behind in the community.
Kyle Bossung (06:17):
And, and, and again, it it’s, it’s it’s been a great tool for us, a great resource for us in terms of finding really, really good caregivers to join our team. We have them located in our south bend office, and we also have a CNA training program in our Indianapolis office. And then we’re also going to be heading over to the Fort Wayne Indiana marketplace. And so our goal is to have the CNA training program over in Fort Wayne as well. But it, it runs very similar to how the, the nurses had organized it. And again, from those classes, I think a misconception is that we’re hiring every single one of those caregivers, because we’ll have typically a class of anywhere from maybe eight to 16 students, if it’s a full class and from those classes, we will go down.
Kyle Bossung (07:15):
And again, it’s, it’s almost like it was when we were giving the presentations to the other school, we’re talking about who we are and what we do. And if some of those individuals want to come forth and become a an employee of ours, that’s fantastic. But a lot of them are they have their heart set on going to a nursing home, or they want to work in a hospital setting or whatever it might be. So I think that misconception of, oh, well, you got to CNA training school. So you must hire every single person that goes through it. That’s not necessarily the case, but having said that we are putting some more thought into how can we maximize the school not only to attract CNAs to join our team, but for those that aren’t joining us is there any type of staffing arrangement that we can come up with and worked through?
Kyle Bossung (08:07):
So that’s something that we’re, we’re not, we haven’t dotted the I’s and cross the T’s on yet, but that’s something that we continue to explore. We, we tried to do something several years ago, but from our, from our experience, we, we just, you need someone who really spends 100% of their time focused on that particular side of the business and not just in a was like a part-time capacity, but, but that’s really how the CNA training school came about. And I remember my dad had told me when we started it, you said, you know, Kyle, this is going to be one of the best thing, the best decisions you’ve ever made and starting the school, because it’s something that gives you a competitive advantage. And not a lot of other companies can, can say that they have a true training school, which has served as well in the communities that we serve.
Miriam Allred (08:57):
What a great story. Thank you for, for sharing that. It’s really neat to see how this has all come about. You’re kind of touching on it a little bit, like we’ve talked about, you know, there’s no silver bullet to the shortages right now, but there are opportunities for us to, to differentiate and you’ve used training as part of your competitive advantage. So let’s drill down a little bit. How were you using in your training and your recruitment efforts? What what’s working, how are you leveraging your training and what has the response been from, from applicants and new hires?
Kyle Bossung (09:32):
Yeah, well, I think having the school has been a, has been an advantage because there are a lot of caregivers who may apply through to become a caregiver and they might be interested in becoming a CNA and furthering their career. And so the ability to sit down with an applicant or sit down with someone during an interview and say, you know, we’re, we’re going to train you, but we also have this, the CNA training school that, that really could give you a leg up on a lot of other individual individuals out there also could provide a higher a wage that they could, they could have. And, and that’s been, I mean, that’s been something that, that really has been attractive to, to applicants when we’re, when we’re sitting down and talking with them. But it’s, I mean, it’s just something that a lot of other providers can’t say that they, that they have in terms of how we, how we market it.
Kyle Bossung (10:34):
I would say we, we, we really cast a wide net. I mean, so similar to how many companies on this call, I’m, I’m sure they’re still using some print materials. And so when we’re going out and marketing the school to you know, our referral sources, or if we’re at a job fair that certainly comes in handy social media platform. That, that seems to be something that has been positive for us and, and talking a little bit about some of the training opportunities that we have. And I mean, it’s really some of the referral sources and contacts that we have some the way the schools were as well as we may have certain assisted living communities or extended care communities that have people in their in their building that they want to become a CNA, but, you know, they, they don’t know where to go.
Kyle Bossung (11:25):
So we have actually had those people come into our school and they’ll go through the training for it’s an accelerated training program. So it happens every three weeks and then once they go through, then they can go back out into that extended care community and provide maybe a different level of care to the residents. COVID obviously created a lot of challenges as it did with pretty much every organization that you come across. And for us, it was no the school obviously we couldn’t meet in person. So we had to be creative with you know, how we could somehow, you know, provide this training that was so important at a time of great need. And so we, we actually made a pivot and started to develop the CNA training course through an online platform. And so that allowed us to continue the school.
Kyle Bossung (12:20):
And we had one of our nurses down in our Indianapolis location. She went through the entire course. And so we, we now have an online training platform where if, if some of our CNAs, we want to go back and brush up on some of their skills, they can refer to that. We’ve also had caregivers who you know, they’re not a CNA, but they want to become a CNA and they can, for that purpose go online and you can be in your pajamas and become a CNA. So it’s a, it’s a really cool development that, that all occurred because of because of COVID
Miriam Allred (12:57):
Without getting too deep into the weeds. I’d love to hear high level what the training actually looks like and includes, you know, the length, how in depth, the structure, it sounds like it’s, you know, maybe a blended approach where there’s some online and some in person, maybe just high level recap, what, what the training looks like.
Kyle Bossung (13:16):
Sure. So, as I mentioned, it’s a accelerated training program. Many programs, if it’s run through an educational facility, it could take anywhere for a semester or a year to go through. So the fact that it is accelerated is certainly attractive for those that want to become a CNA and they want to become a CNA very, very fast. So the first week you would go through really the classwork almost like you’re going to school every day. So I believe it’s from eight o’clock until about three or four in the afternoon. You’re, you’re here eight, 8:00 AM sharp, and you leave at 4:00 PM in the afternoon. And then you’re basically just going through the classwork portion. And then the following two weeks, you are in more of a clinical environment. So those sessions usually start up around six o’clock in the morning when you’re making rounds out in a facility and making sure that you can help their residents get up in the morning.
Kyle Bossung (14:13):
And so you’re really practicing the skills that you learned in that first week during the class. And so that happens for two weeks, and then there some review, and after the review takes place on that fourth week, then the state tester will come into our facility and test our test our students. And so they have to remember all of those 72 procedures that I mentioned to you a little bit earlier. And then what happens is they go back into a testing room and they have to basically draw a procedure out of a hat and have to perform that. And on the tester, who’s lying there in the hospital bed. So it is a, a, it’s a kind of an intimidating type of a situation that they go through. They’re so nervous where they come in to take that test as I would be too. But when they pass and that feeling of accomplishment, that, that that they get from it, I mean, there are tears streaming down the face of the students. It’s emotional. And but, but, but that’s just in a snapshot how it, how it, how it works.
Miriam Allred (15:24):
Sounds accelerated to me, that seems pretty quick and pretty intimidating, but, but like you said, if they’re caregivers or hires that come on that want to become a CNA, you know, maybe it is a really good option for them to get through the training and to get to doing what they’re passionate about doing. So that’s, that’s great. It sounds like, just to clarify, it sounds like you do hire caregivers and people may be brought on that. Don’t want to become a CNA, and it sounds like you have alternatives that they can do as well. Is that right?
Kyle Bossung (15:57):
It’s true. I would say 70, 75% of our people are our CNAs. And then if someone’s not, I mean, we’re certainly not going to turn them down. We, we want to bring on people for personality and, and we will train for the skills. And so we just feel though, because of the work that we’re doing so much of it is centered around the hands-on personal care that we just want it to go after CNA, which has been which has been a great, a great resource for us. And, and one thing I will mention too, I hadn’t mentioned that you, you asked about how we advertise for a unique way that we advertise for actually is from a sign, a digital sign that we have out front of our office in our south bend location. It’s on a very heavy populated street.
Kyle Bossung (16:45):
And there are times that we’ll put out there that we’re offering CNA training sometimes we’ll, we’ll say free CNA training on the outside of the sign, and we just get an influx of walk-in traffic. And it’s actually gotten to the point where our program director will call me and say, Hey, Kyle, can we turn off the CNA training sign? Because I have, I don’t have enough slots to fill here. So she’s she’s kind of a funny about that, but we, right now we do have a waiting list for the CNA training school, which is, which is really, really cool. I’m, I’m glad that there’s a lot of individuals that have an interest in becoming a CNA because there is such a need to, to, to, to, to work in this type of industry.
Miriam Allred (17:28):
Glad that you mentioned that not all the providers probably on the call have access to maybe digital billboards and such, but it just getting the word out there and using training as a way to incentivize people to apply, to get interested and to want to learn more training is a great place to start. And so just, you know, getting that out there, continuing the discussion, I’m also aware of some other innovations that you all have implemented in your training, including VR or virtual reality. That is probably something new to providers on the line today. Tell me what you guys are doing with VR and how, how it’s being received by your employees.
Kyle Bossung (18:07):
Yeah, so the virtual reality training came about from a, a mastermind group that I’m a part of, and I’ll, we’ve been a part of, for about six or seven years now, but a member who was in the group had talked about this, this concept of VR training. And at that point it was still relatively new. And so we, we tried to find out what, what company he was involved with and so forth. And so there’s a, a company out of California called an embodied labs, and we had some calls with them and wanted to learn a little bit more about the product. And, you know, one thing led to another or where we saw it as an opportunity, again, to be unique and different in terms of the type of training that we provide. But basically what it is is it’s a, a virtual reality headset that a caregiver will put on.
Kyle Bossung (19:05):
And there are several different modules that you can choose your training from. So there could be a module that will have a three-part a three-part session, but there could be a three-part Alzheimer’s module. And so you’ll put, put on the headset and then you are embodying the person who is afflicted with, with Alzheimer’s. And so I think the very first session that you’re in and each session is about five or seven minutes, a person’s at the front of the room, and she’s a school teacher and she’s forgetting you know, how to write a number up on the board for the very first time. She’s forgetting something for that very first time where you’re actually experiencing that from her perspective. Some of the other modules, there’s a hospice module. So you’re embodying the person when you’re sitting down in a doctor’s office and getting a terminal diagnosis.
Kyle Bossung (20:02):
And I know it sounds very difficult, which it is, but you’re actually experiencing that, which is very, very emotional because a lot of our caregivers may have a family member that just went through hospice or some type of diagnosis. And so then it goes to the point where the last session you were actually a hospice patient, and you’re in you’re, you’re, you’re on your death bed. And it’s just such a, a different perspective that our caregivers can come to realize. And I, I can’t tell you how many caregivers that have gone through it that actually will thank us for allowing us the opportunity or allowing them the opportunity to go through the VR training and, and we’re using the VR training and in several different ways. Our goal is, is just, especially during those first 90 days, when a caregiver comes on board, our role is to, to get in touch with them and really use this as a touch point.
Kyle Bossung (21:06):
So after they’ve gone through some of the orientation, then we may have them come in seven to 10 days later and then offer the, another, like an Alzheimer’s training for them. And then maybe 30 days later we’ll offer the hospice or, you know, just kind of spacing it out a little bit, but using it as a, a touch point and an opportunity for them to learn and grow. And then we’re also using it to for our existing caregivers and setting up times for them. Usually a couple of days a week, we’ll set up some times where they can call ahead of time and schedule a VR training session. But, you know, we’ve had some caregivers with a tremendous amount of experience, and they’ve said like, you have to get other people through here. You have to get other people to, to do see what I just saw, because I thought I knew it all, but I didn’t know it all.
Kyle Bossung (22:01):
And actually our, our trainer helps with that. She had spoken with me not too long ago and said, as I was putting on the headset and I was embodying the client, I kind of realized that as a caregiver, there are times when maybe I shouldn’t be sitting or standing in a certain position because that might be uncomfortable for the client or for whatever reason it might be. So there’s just so many things that, that you can learn. And then on top of that, we’re also looking at ways that we can engage the technology with our clients. And so we’ve had two clients in particular that we’ve done a pilot with. And so we’ve had them come into the office and one was a spouse of a client who had dementia and then the other the daughter was there with the mom and they went through it and just, they were, they thought it was remarkable.
Kyle Bossung (22:56):
And then there was another client that went through it another Alzheimer session, and they thought it was just just a really, really valuable, a valuable resource for them in terms of how they can understand things and how they can communicate more effectively with their loved one. So it’s, it’s been great. And we’re, we’re still trying to figure out ways to, to offer it to more people and, and get more of our caregivers involved and certainly get more clients involved. Cause it seems like the pilot is working out pretty well.
Miriam Allred (23:28):
What an incredible tool. It’s incredible to think that, like you said, it’s giving them a different perspective and you said you’ve had aged employees go through it and feel something. And I’m thinking of with labor shortages as they are, you know, we may be bringing people into this industry that have never cared for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and it’s an equalizer. Everyone can have that experience in a virtual reality, but preparing to go and provide that care, whether they’ve been doing this for 20 years, or this is their first week on the job, it helps them feel that connection and then be better prepared to go and provide the actual care. So that is fascinating. And that you’re trying it on the client’s side, testing it on the client side, especially for, like you said, those family members or, you know, the people that are surrounded by the individual receiving the care there’s value in them having that experience as well.
Kyle Bossung (24:26):
Yeah. And they have different modules. Usually I once a year, so they’ll, they’ll have an update to a different module. And you know, some of it might, might center around social isolation, but seniors mental health. So there’s, there’s, there’s excitement too with, with some of the modules that are in the in the pipeline and also, you know, customer service and, and there’s so much centered around customer service. So we just view it again, it’s I know there’s a lot of other companies that, that use the VR equipment, but it, for us, it’s just been something really, really unique and not to say that, you know videos and training that you offer through, you know, your, your LMS software. I mean, that’s, that’s certainly very, very valuable, but we just use this as more added value to say, Hey, this is something that we have, we think is really, really cool. You know, why, why don’t you try it out? And the caregivers and the response has been, has been terrific.
Miriam Allred (25:27):
I know we’ve got your father on the line, Carl. I don’t know if I can put him on the spot, but I pose it to you, Kyle. And then Carl, if you actually want to chime in, I’d love to hear why you kind of told this story at the beginning, but why you let training be kind of the core of your agency? Why both of you felt passionate about opening up this school enough to let training be really your differentiator and at the core of your agency?
Carl Bossung (25:55):
Yeah, we kind of, when I started the business 15 years ago my background, I was CPA partnered with a CPA firm for four years. And what I found was that in a personal service business, which a CPA firm is, or a home care company, is where you have individuals, you know, providing service. You really can’t, you can’t separate the person from the service and that’s true in any personal service business. So the idea was that we need, as Kyle said, we need to differentiate ourselves by having better trained people. And we had to find, as he indicated through an existing CNA training school that’s the kind of person were looking for, we could have gone after HHAs probably, but we just thought CNA or, you know, a bit higher level that we need really, to concentrate on. And fortunately, we found this school who was providing, they had trained about 3,500 CNAs over a 15 year period.
Carl Bossung (27:02):
And they had a great reputation. We were fortunate to find a school. And then unfortunately for them, fortunately for us, you know, we were able to we’re taking it over. Well, we train about 300 plus a year. In addition to that last year state of Indiana and knowing that there’s going to be a shortage of CNS and nursing homes starting a new program, kind of a mini CNA from we’ll call it personal care attendant where they could get about two or three days of training. And then they could go in and do certain things in a nursing home and all of them, they all this would help them qualify for CNA position. So this was right at the heart at the beginning of the pending pandemic with a lot of restaurant workers, hospitality, people, retail will be laid off. People were high unemployment, they were looking for work.
Carl Bossung (27:50):
So we trained we we’ve pivoted quickly within about a week. We put together this program and we trained 800 of those people. I think the state probably trained 2,500 to 3012. We trained 800. So it was 800 people walking through our door, registering for that program. And we could cherry pick knowing that we didn’t have to have CNAs or PCAs. We could pick anybody who had a good personality and we felt, you know, it would make a good caregiver. So we hired many of those people. They’re still there. They’re still with us with us today. So it’s just, it’s a good way to get people in the door basically to be in. The other part of it is once it’s kind of said, it’s a one month program, it’s a lot different hiring a person or making an offer to hire somebody that you made it.
Carl Bossung (28:36):
You may have found him through a muddied ad and you interviewed him versus a person that you get to watch, see them interact with others. See what kind of service focus they have and what kind of a team player they are. You get to watch them for a month just like watching your interview, you’d hire. And you say, yes, that’s the kind of person I want to hire or no, it’s not the kind of person. So it’s just, it’s had a lot of benefits for us in terms of the quality bar. We’re all private pay. So our clients demand the high level of service from the caregiver. And you know, I don’t know where we’d be today if we didn’t have the school.
Miriam Allred (29:15):
I love what you said at the beginning, Carl, about if you want to elevate your care, you have to elevate the individual, providing the care. And that’s where training really comes in. That, that was actually going to be one of my follow-up questions to you. Kyle was about all of your clients are still private pay, correct?
Carl Bossung (29:34):
Yeah. The majority 99% are private pay.
Miriam Allred (29:38):
So you’re sending the CNA cause there might be you kind of a misconception there of what you’re training these CNAs. Are they doing, you know, more than a caregiver would, but no, you’re S you’re sending CNA trained employees out to private pay clients.
Kyle Bossung (29:53):
Yeah. That that’s correct. They’re not, they’re not doing anything that would be considered skilled care, which is not within our license or our jurisdiction. So it’s just, they’re very well trained on how to, how to handle personal care, which is what a lot of the clients that are calling need. And so we just want to make sure we have a high level of individual out there doing that type of work.
Miriam Allred (30:15):
And I imagine that results in a selling point on the client side, you can let them know from the beginning that these are CNA trained employees that will be coming to your house. Anything you want to share they’re on it being a, you know, a major selling point on the client front.
Kyle Bossung (30:31):
No, I absolutely. Cause I, I, I mean, there are clients that are calling around and they’re, they’re shopping for, for a company that can help out with their loved one. And, you know, they have questions ready as to, you know, why should we hire senior OneCare as opposed to, you know, someone else down the street and, you know, to, to be able to tell them that, that the training that we provide to our caregivers is, is different than a lot of the other agencies that are out there. It really is a huge, competitive advantage. And as we talk about in a lot of our planning meetings legacy CNA trainings, our biggest competitive advantage because again, what can you tell people that other companies can’t tell, and that is something we can tell that story. And it resonates with individuals and they’re already a little apprehensive about you know, hiring someone that they don’t know to come into their home and help take care of their loved one. So if I know that, you know, your caregivers are going through a CNA training school that you guys have developed and they’re well-trained, and they know how to do what they need to do for my loved one. It’s a, it’s a huge, huge selling point for for our marketing efforts.
Miriam Allred (31:49):
Training’s a, win-win when, on, on both fronts, there’s, you can’t go wrong with offering a lot of training, but really in depth training and setting these employees up for success on their first day on the job. It’s, it’s incredible.
Todd Austin (32:03):
Hey Miriam, how are you, Kyle? How are you doing you doing good, doing well, doing well. Hey, thanks for joining today. I’ve, I’ve kinda got a few rapid fire questions I joined late. So sorry if it’s a radical, but when, when you think about, you know, training specifically, how many, you know, is your process to hire and put them through the school and then get them in the care setting? Or do you have individuals that you hire that go in the care setting that then actually want to go through like a, an advanced, you know degree or certificate, you know, do you do it in, in all one order or can someone start in the care setting and then go to, you know CNA school, for instance?
Kyle Bossung (32:48):
No, that’s a, that’s a really good question. And I would say an answer would be it’s a little bit of both. You know, I, I can think of one example in particular, where we had a a caregiver who wasn’t a CNA and she was with us for five or six years. And throughout the course of her tenure, we would always ask her if she wanted to go through the CNA training school and we’d be willing to cover the costs. And she, she never accepted the offer. And then finally one one day she said, you know what, I’ve heard you guys talk about this so much and I’ll, I’ll end up going through it. But she went into it with a mindset that she didn’t think she really needed it because she had a lot of experience, even though she wasn’t a CNA.
Kyle Bossung (33:35):
And so she went through it and afterwards, I remember she came into my office and she said, you know what, Kyle, I know I gave you guys a hard time. But I can’t tell you how much I learned from going through that school. She’s like, I thought I knew it all, but I had no idea what I didn’t know in terms of all the things that you learn. So and I, and I think a lot of that is as a Testament to the, the trainers that we have just a, an incredible staff who are dedicated to making sure that the students succeed. And I often will tell individuals that they’re there, there’ll be times I’m leaving at night to go home and I’ll see an instructor’s car in the parking lot is I’m leaving. And that person is there could be, you know, six o’clock, six 30 at night, and they’re doing a one-on-one tutoring session with a student.
Kyle Bossung (34:28):
So, so they’re passionate about what they do, which I think is, is, is, is something I hadn’t mentioned earlier, because if you don’t have the right people you know, helping out with the training, it’s not going to be a successful training class. And we’ve been fortunate that we have one of the highest pass rates in the state, if not the highest I think at last count it was upwards of 97, 90 8%. And I think are some in some state averages are in the fifties and 60%. So so that’s a little bit different too, but yeah, I think it kind of happens both ways, but it’s, it’s interesting. Cause we have a lot of stories about caregivers who, who weren’t CNS and they did become one. And, and they’re just so glad that they did.
Todd Austin (35:09):
And you had the, you’ve had the school for years, correct? Like if it’s not something that was a new initiative, right?
Kyle Bossung (35:18):
It started in 2014. And so we’ve had it now for about seven years and and we have two locations with it and then we’ll also be transitioning it to the Fort Wayne market, which we’re going to be starting up an office over there.
Todd Austin (35:34):
Awesome. Awesome. Well, that’s exciting. Congratulations on all the success. One last question before I kind of turn it back to Miriam, we hear a lot, you know, obviously Home Care Pulse, you know, we’re, we’re a continuous feedback loop and that is, you know one common area that we hear from agencies on a consistent basis is how to react to the, you know, feedback around training needed. Now you’ve got, you know, a CNA school to reverse engineer that as an opportunity for agencies, if they didn’t have that. So if you were to think back, you know, eight years ago, you know, what, what advice would you give yourself to at least supplement it, to solve that training issue? If you didn’t have the school for agency owners that maybe don’t have the capital or capacity to open up a school?
Kyle Bossung (36:28):
Yeah, I think it, a lot of it would depend on, I mean, there’s, there’s a lot of different kind of training modules out there and the learning management software available. I think, you know, depending on the resources that the company may have yeah, it’s, it’s kind of assessing some of those and, and, and seeing, you know, what might be beneficial to them because I think, you know, I can change it to, to, to feel that, you know, the future of some of the, this training is going to be more centered around the caregivers. I mean their where they are in making it as simple and as easy for them to to digest. And so I think kind of looking at some of the, the, the, the LMS that’s out there and seeing, you know, how you can maximize it.
Kyle Bossung (37:18):
And I, and I think sometimes it’s assessing, I realized there’s a cost to it as well, but I think for the long-term success, I mean, it’s a long-term play. I mean, you want to make sure that you have good training available, available for your caregivers, because we hear so much about how important it is. So I think it’s really kind of doing your due diligence and finding a, a software out there that can really help you and, and, and really kind of tackle some of these topics that we’ve been that we’ve been talking about as it relates to care.
Carl Bossung (37:48):
I would just add to that Todd that, you know, at, Carl’s saying, I think getting you know, hooking up with some kind of software, that’s good, like you’re in the know, which is a great product that would be important. If you want to get into the CNA side or, or training our advice would be, and which we were thinking about doing this ourselves, don’t do it on your own. There’s too much complexity involved in it because at one time when these other ladies had the school, we were thinking about why this is a great way to have our own school. We actually sent a nurse, one of our nurses down to be a program director and the rules regulations and so forth were so onerous. There’s no way we could have pulled it off. So our advice would be to hook up with another training provider that provides that kind of training and probably do what we did for the first eight years of our existence.
Carl Bossung (38:41):
And we just asked to come into the classes and make a pitch, trying to find, to hire these kinds of people. That was a great source of finding people. So all your community colleges or CNA schools you know, you can reach out to them and you know, try to get in to those facilities. And in, in when the students are actually in session and, and be able to make a pitch to the student, but we would, I’d I guess we would just highly recommend they don’t try to do it on your own. It’s not easy. And we would have never pulled it off if we didn’t have some as cost and some dedicated instructors who really wanted to come with us. And you know, part of the change the other thing I might add is that we don’t look at this as a moneymaker.
Carl Bossung (39:26):
I think up until last year, we probably lost a little bit of money in writing the school. But what we lost was far less than a recruiting costs that we would have incurred to bring these people on last year was a change. And we actually made money in the school because the state, and I would encourage all of the people on the call to look at their state job training dollars that are out there. Many states got job training dollars. Indiana has a lot of, a lot of dollars both for the student, as well as the company. And so as an example and, and we do the revenue of this school is a little over a million dollars last year, to give you an example, how many people were training charged $2,200 per student for the one month session, which is on the high end, but it’s costly.
Carl Bossung (40:19):
We got a high pass rate but last year the state gave companies a hundred thousand dollars to go out and train. This is through the pandemic train people who needed jobs or train your own people. So what we did was offer that it’s costly to get new CNAs potentials in the door, but also we offer it to our own people. And we actually paid our people to take the course. We said, Hey, you want to become a CNA. We’re actually going to pay you $300 to take the course, which then a lot of them signed up who weren’t CNA is that 25% that weren’t seeing. So I encourage everybody to look out at their state workforce development area and see what dollars are out there to help you in training, whether it’s a CNA school or any other country.
Todd Austin (41:06):
Yeah, I think that’s that you, you read my mind there because, you know, states have a lot of CMP dollars that they’re receiving, you know, you know, especially for Alzheimer’s and dementia, that is a lot of times goes under utilized because, you know in home care, we’re not tapping into that. And as a resource, cause we’re not, we’re not aware of the grant money that’s available for us to use. And in partnerships with local community college is and training centers. It’s a good opportunity to supplement, you know, in face learning like Kyle, you had mentioned is so important to have a blended approach. So, so yeah, Carl, you, you read my mind, so appreciate that Karl and Kyle for your input and thoughts around that.
Miriam Allred (41:50):
Great questions, Todd, thanks. Thanks for chiming in there. And Kyle and Carl great responses, just in closing, really one final question, very similar to what Todd was just asking. There may be providers that are so bogged down with the many challenges that they’re facing that training may be falling to the back burner, or may not be top of mind. Kyle, what, what would you say to an agency owner that, that that’s happening to? What advice would you give them?
Kyle Bossung (42:18):
I certainly understand the predicament that they would be in, but it is, as you said, it’s very easy, I think to, to maybe move it down the priority list and maybe it started off pretty high, you know, like, okay, well I got so much going on. It’s just going to keep falling, falling down. I think you, you really have to look at it and move it at the, at the very, very top, because you know, in, in, in, in, in this industry and others, I mean, whoever has the best people is going to win. And you know, it’s no different than, you know, our home care company or, or, or others across the country. So you really have to spend the time allocated wisely and make sure that you’re, you’re spending the time to train those individuals. Because if you’re not giving your caregivers or your, your team in the office, the tools necessary for them to be successful, it’s tough to have a, a, a good company. I mean, you really got to focus on that so much so I can see where it’s easy to put it down there, but I really think you got to, you got to spend some time in and move that to the top of the list and then come up with a really cool pro program for your, for your staff.
Miriam Allred (43:26):
Absolutely great insights. Well, Kyle, that’s all we’ve got time for today. Thank you for joining us. Thank you, Carl. And everyone. Thanks for joining us live today, but that’s all for now. See you next time!
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