This was win-win: The Perley and Algonquin College create joint PSW Program

Joanne Laucius, The Ottawa Citizen

Valerie Little had a background in sales. She had quit work and was caring for her mother at home when a visiting personal support worker planted the seed of an idea for a mid-life career change. “You’re good at this. You should think about doing it,” the PSW urged Little. Little, 53, did think about it. In January, she was among the first graduates of a joint program between Algonquin College and the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre, the first of its kind in Ottawa. The Perley offers the learning space for the PSW students, which includes a classroom located in a renovated dining room at the centre. The students get to be immersed in the learning experience. There’s another benefit for the Perley — in an environment where supply of PSWs does not meet demand, it has a home-gown crop of potential workers. Among its roles, the Perley offers assistance to patients in their homes, and it has assisted living apartments and long-term care services. They all require PSWs. Out of the 20 graduates, eight were hired by the Perley.

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