New Jersey has created an in-depth training pathway in core competencies for community health workers (CHWs) in the state. The state has recognized “CHWs have emerged as one of the most vital actors in healthcare delivery today.”
To that end, the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) created the Colette Lamothe-Galette Community Health Worker Institute (CLG-CHWI) to head up training. It was founded in 2020 through a partnership between employers, community colleges and others. The program is named in honor of Colette Lamothe-Galette, who died in April 2020 after complications from COVID.
The New Jersey institute sets a standardized CHW core competencies training and certification program, which also includes an apprenticeship program.
“This will allow the state to educate an emerging and critical component of its workforce – creating a needed infrastructure to support CHWs, and the institutions they serve,” according to the department’s website.
The institute has three working groups to provide a comprehensive workforce development program.
- Curriculum and training
- Outreach recruitment and workforce development
- Sustainability, including payment methods and career pathways
What are the CHW training requirements in New Jersey?
The training consists of 144 hours of classroom instruction. CHWs must complete the training with one of these approved colleges: Camden, Ocean, Essex, or Mercer College.
Someone, such as an employer, can recommend CHWs to the program. Or, they can apply directly to the NJDOH. Once the NJDOH receives and reviews the application, the CHWs complete an interview process before successful applicants formally enter the program.
NJDOH covers classroom instruction costs for participants accepted into the training program.
New Jersey CHW Core Competencies
- Effective Communication
- Individual and Community Assessment
- Outreach Methods and Strategies
- Cultural Responsiveness and Mediation
- Education to Promote Healthy Behaviors
- Care Coordination & Systems Navigation
- Public Health Concepts and Approaches
- Advocacy and Community Capacity Building
- Professional Skills and Conduct
- COVID-19 Education, Training and Safety
- Health Equity and Disparities
- Adverse Childhood Experiences
Work experience pathway
After completing the training program, participants must complete up to 2000 hours of on-the-job training. CHWs complete the training with an approved employer that is part of the NJDOH program. Candidates are assigned to an employer when they complete the training program.