The New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199 and the Connecticut Nursing Homes Training and Upgrading Fund provides educational opportunities for 1199 members from nursing homes throughout the state of Connecticut. Training Fund programs are funded by the nursing homes, which have agreed to pay 1% of their gross payroll each month into the Fund for the length of their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the union.

Employees who work at least eight hours per week (some CBAs require 20 hours) at a participating facility and have completed their probationary period are eligible for most of the Fund’s programs.  An employee must have worked at a participating facility for at least one year to be eligible for Tuition Reimbursement.

Current Training Fund benefits and programs include:

  • Adult Basic education
  • Career and College Counseling
  • Computer Skills Classes
  • National External Diploma Program
  • Transition to College and Careers
  • Tuition Assistance
  • Tutoring

2016 Graduation

2016 Graduation group

On Tuesday evening June 14, 2016 the Training Fund recognized 54 nursing home members of 1199 who have graduated during the 2015-2016 school year at the annual Graduation Recognition Ceremony.  Family, friends, co-workers, and Union officials gathered to offer best wishes to this year’s graduates. Members earned High School Diplomas, Certificates, Associate’s Degrees, Bachelor’s Degrees, and Master’s Degrees!

Congratulations to all of this year’s graduates who have worked long and hard to achieve their goals!

Speakers at this year’s graduation included:

Althea Mitchell Blake, Kimberly Hall South, High School Diploma

Amdrilla Erskine, Touchpoints at Bloomfield, EKG Technician

Uel Benjamin, Greensprings Health & Rehabilitation, EKG Technician

Bonnie Gaudreau, Davis Place, LPN

Sandra McLaughlin, Kimberly Hall South, Associate’s Degree-Science

Pauline Dunchie-Legg, Greensprings Health & Rehabilitation, Associate’s Degree-Science


1199 Members earned diplomas, certificates, and degrees in the following this year:

High School Diploma


  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Phlebotomy Certification
  • Culinary Arts/Professional Baker
  • EKG Technician
  • Healthcare Sciences
  • Life Coaching
  • Long-term Care Certificate
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Therapeutic Recreation


  • Nursing-LPN
  • Nursing-RN (Associate’s Degree)
  • Nursing-RN (Bachelor’s Degree)

Associate’s Degree

  • Arts
  • Science
  • Social Services

Bachelor’s Degree

  • Business Administration
  • Healthcare Sciences
  • Sociology

Master’s Degree

  • Business Administration
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CARING, 1199 Nursing Home Workers Tell Their Story

1199 Nursing Home Workers Tell Their Story in New Publication

On Thursday, May 12, 2016 close to 100 1199 members, staff, friends and family joined to congratulate 1199 members who recently had their stories published in “Caring: 1199 Nursing Home Workers Tell Their Story” by Hardball Press. Fifty-three stories were published in this new collection. Themes included work, family, immigration, the Union, and more.  The book is available from the Training Fund office, at or at

Group Shot

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1199 Members Complete New EKG Tech Course




Last spring Capital Community College debuted a new course, EKG (Electrocardiogram) Technician. Run through the college’s School of Workforce and Continuing Education, the 63 hour course meets two evenings a week and prepares students to be employed in hospitals, laboratories or cardiologists’ offices.

This week, graduates of the Fall 2015 EKG Technician course were recognized. All twelve are health care workers who are members of District 1199, New England Healthcare Employees Union, and were sponsored by the 1199 Training and Upgrading Fund. Each year hundreds of unionized nursing home workers make use of the Fund to take adult ed programs, attend college or receive training at their workplace. The EKG course completion rate was 92%.

EKG Technicians specialize in electrocardiogram testing of patients. By attaching electrodes to the patient’s chest, arms and legs, EKG Technicians use EKG machines to monitor the heart’s performance. Data captured by EKG Technicians assists doctors in diagnosing heart conditions. Projected job growth in this field is expected to increase by 22% over the next ten years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Health and Life Sciences Career Initiative grant (HL-SCI) funded the new EKG program at Capital. It is one of three new programs that have been paid for and developed thanks to the grant. The HL-SCI grant team worked with Ruth Krems, Capital’s Coordinator of Nurse Aide Certification, and industry partners and experts to develop the program. The EKG program was evaluated for college credit by Charter Oak State College’s CCAP (Connecticut Credit Assessment Program), and has been awarded 3 college credits.

EKG Grads



2015 Nursing Conference


2015 Nursing Conference

2015 Nursing Conference


“This conference opened my eyes to new ideas!”

Over 60 nurses from throughout Connecticut attended

the 3rd annual Nursing Conference on November 17, 2015 in

Cromwell, CT.  The conference theme was “Nurses as Leaders”

and workshops included:

Caring for Residents with Mental Illness


Self-Care Strategies for Caregivers


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2015 Training Fund Conference


2015 TF Conference


Close to 200 1199 members attended the 13th Annual Training Fund Conference (formerly the CNA Conference) on Tuesday, October 13.  Here are a few things that members had to say about the conference:

“I’m an 1199 member and there wasn’t anywhere I would have rather been today!”

“I attend every year and every year I learn something new!”

“I found it very inspiring.”

“This was my first year at the conference and I felt like I belong.”

“Every year this is a day I take just for myself.”

“It is exciting, educational, insightful, and enjoyable!”

Workshops this year included:

  •   The Skin Care Fair
  • Caring for Residents with Mental Illness
  • Financial Skills for Working Families
  • Secrets to Living a Low Stress Life
  • Get Fit!
  • Write the Workplace: Creative Writing


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Hundreds of family, friends, co-workers, and Union leaders came together at the 2015 Training Fund graduation on Tuesday, June 16 to congratulate the 45 1199NE members who graduated in the course of 2014-2015.  Members earned their high school diplomas, certificates, Associate’s Degrees, Bachelor’s Degrees, and Master’s Degrees with the help of the Training Fund.  Speakers at this year’s graduation included:


Linford James, High School Diploma, Maple View Manor, Rocky Hill

Lurline Mullings, Long-term Care Certificate Program, Saint Mary Home, West Hartford

Dorothy Warner, Long-term Care Certificate Program, Chelsea Place, Hartford

Ian Fraser, Associate’s Degree-Nursing, Silver Springs Care Center, Meriden

Antoinette Osei-Bonsu, Bachelor’s Degree-Accounting, Fresh River Healthcare, East Windsor

Tanya Beckford, Bachelor’s Degree-Human Services, Newington Rapid Recovery Rehab Center

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“With Our Loving Hands”


Book release - Sharon and Advira

1199NE members Sharon Benjamin and Advira Linton had their stories published in “With Our Loving Hands.”  On December 11, 2014, 1199NE members, family, and friends came together to celebrate the recent publication of “With Our Loving Hands” by Hardball Press.  Fifty 1199 nursing home members had their stories published in this collection. The book is available at or   


 “In this book nursing home workers who care for the elderly and infirm tell their stories. These essential caregivers are too often ignored or disrespected. Yet their stories show us how their challenging work is so often motivated by love. Family members and friends who are admitted for long term care and perhaps, for the last stage of life, are comforted by these courageous workers whose loving hands hold them in their long, lonely night.”


 Tim Sheard, Editor, Hard Ball Press.


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2014 Nursing Conference


Nursing Conf. 2014

Over 80 nurses from throughout Connecticut attended the Training Fund’s 3rd Annual Nursing conference on Wednesday, November 19, 2014.  The conference theme was “Nurses as Leaders” and workshops included:

  • Being a coaching Leader
  • Nursing Assessment 101
  • Critical Thinking and Time Management
  • How to Write the Perfect Nursing Notes

Comments from conference participants included:

  •  “It touched every issue that I deal with on a daily basis.  Thank you!”
  • “I got to hear what’s happening in the field, and it gave me some incentive to think about what my next move will be.”
  • “It was very informative.  The subjects directly related to my job.”
  • “The workshops drew my attention to little things that are sometimes neglected, but make a lot of difference in the lives of our residents.”


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2014 CNA Conference

2014 CNA conference


Close to 200 1199 members attended the Training Fund’s 12th Annual CNA Conference on October 15, 2015 in Cromwell, CT.  The theme of the conference was “Taking Care of Yourself to Care for Others” and workshop topics included:


  • Change Made Easy
  • The Energized CNA
  • Get Fit!
  • The Changing Face of Healthcare Industry Jobs
  • Spanish for the Healthcare Worker
  • Behavior Challenges: Caring for Residents with Mental Illness

Comments from members who attended included:


  • “The information was awesome and eye opening!”
  • “I really look forward to this conference every year…it gives me a day off from the stress of every day life.”
  • “It gave me insight on how to deal with mentally challenged residents.”
  • “This conference makes me think positively about life and work!”
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2014 Graduation

Group Shot (4)

On June 17, 2014 over 200 members, staff, family and friends attended the Training Fund’s annual graduation recognition ceremony.  Close to 60 members graduated this year with degrees and certificates including High School Diploma, Certifications, Associate’s Degrees, Bachelor’s Degrees, and Master’s Degrees.

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