Celebrating Our Training Fund Graduates

September 3, 2020

More than 2,000 members completed programs through the nation’s largest worker training fund.

Every year, the1199SEIU Training and Employment Funds (TEF) holds a Recognition Ceremony to honor 1199ers who completed a degree, certificate, or skill-building program. The event is a yearly highlight and moment of unabashed pride and joy. Though COVID-19 denied this year’s 2,000 graduates their moment of communal joy, there was still plenty of pride to go around.

“This year’s graduates had to stay focused and finish their programs while enduring the enormous stress of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said TEF Executive Director Sandi Vito. “Many members started new jobs immediately after graduation with temporary credentials to alleviate workforce shortages in critical areas and help save lives. The courage and dedication of 1199SEIU healthcare workers is inspiring,”

In the absence of a live event, the TEF is planning to share videos featuring graduates’ personal stories and present certificates to officially commemorate grads’ participation in the Union’s programs.

1199SEIU President George Gresham lamented the lost opportunity to speak to graduates but noted that particularly in 2020, members’ academic achievements are a testament to the strength of 1199. “We are proud of every one of these graduates.

Their commitment to education and professional development shows their commitment to their patients and to health care,” said Gresham. “Being a working adult student is an incredible challenge. I know because I have done it. The fact that these members stayed the course in their dedication to education and advancement reminds us what 1199 members are made of. We congratulate every one of them on their achievement and we are grateful to them for their work on behalf of all of us as we band together to fight COVID-19 and heal our country.”