Employee Learning Center at Menorah Park
Your Dollars at Work: Menorah Park

Menorah Park has been caring for Central New York seniors for 100 years. Over the years, many of its on-staff certified nursing attendants have wanted to work toward earning high school diplomas or GEDs. But they didn’t have the money, time, or other resources to pursue their dreams. Administrators at Menorah Park looked into partnering with other nursing homes that offered on-site trainings, but found that employees couldn’t make the necessary transportation and logistics work. That’s when the Women’s Fund stepped in.

A 2010 grant let Menorah Park administrators buy computers to help staff with their educations. Thanks to the Women’s Fund, the organization is now able to offer a collaborative program called ESPORT, which helps build confidence and life skills—crucial ingredients in any self-improvement plan. After that first infrastructure grant, Menorah Park partnered with the employee union to offer GED training. Shirley Hicks, a dietary associate with Menorah Park for 17 years, was the first employee to get her GED. Success story number two was Melissa Doris, a CNA who said she was embarrassed at not having a high school diploma. She wanted a GED so she could show her children the importance of education. Melissa was chosen by the New York Association for Continuing/Community Education as the New York State Adult Education Student of the Year. She traveled to Albany to receive her GED certificate, and had the chance to make a short speech to the state legislature.

Thanks to the Women’s Fund grant, Menorah Park hosts on-site training and education, including courses that directly affect employees’ skills and wage-earning capacities. And that kind of empowerment helps everyone in the community.

The Women's Fund of Central New York is a component fund of the Central New York Community Foundation.

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