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Apprentice Spotlight: Dale Geoghan – Success Story

Dale Geoghan moved to the United States from Jamaica when he was 28 years old, seeking new opportunities in his professional life. Although he didn't initially consider a career in healthcare, his background in caring for a large family gave him a natural ability and passion for taking care of people. While working as a server on Cape Cod, a friend informed him about a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) apprenticeship at Cape Cod Hospital, sponsored by the 1199SEIU Training Fund in Massachusetts.

As Dale put it, “the bills don’t take a break.” The apprenticeship allowed him to learn a new skill while earning a salary, providing a steady path towards a new career, even if it didn't come with a significant immediate pay increase.


Dale was “blown away” by how much he loved his new job and the support he received as an apprentice. He took pride in his work and felt a sense of recognition in caring for people. His mentor, a seasoned CNA, had extensive experience and could anticipate future events, teaching Dale what to watch out for. She often stepped back to let him practice his new skills, boosting his confidence.

"I love my new job and the support I received as an apprentice. It doesn’t get better than this—when you are an apprentice, you are learning and getting qualified in the field, and you don’t have to take a break from earning."


Other preceptors at the hospital also offered help and additional training, allowing Dale to integrate various skills from his mentor, preceptors, and coworkers. By the time he took the CNA exam, he felt prepared and confident, having already performed all the required tasks during his apprenticeship. Although he felt some nerves, his hands-on experience mitigated much of his anxiety.


Now thriving in his new role, Dale appreciates being part of the union, which provides a sense of belonging and support, as well as a clear path for future growth. Reflecting on his journey, he said, “It doesn’t get better than this – when you are an apprentice, you are learning, getting qualified in the field and you don’t have to take a break from earning.”



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