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PCA Program History

The Connecticut PCA program is a product of the Independent Living Movement, which evolved from the Civil Rights/Disability Rights movement in the United States. Learn More.

The Connecticut PCA program is a product of the Independent Living Movement, which evolved from the Civil Rights/Disability Rights movement in the United States. The Connecticut PCA waiver program began in 1996 and has since evolved into what is today. Through this program, consumers can employ their own staff and take control of their own care. Therefore, these consumers are known as consumer-employers. These consumer-employers hire Personal Care Attendants, or PCAs, to assist with many aspects of their daily lives.

The PCA Orientation Program at the 1199 Training Fund was established by the collective bargaining agreement between the State of Connecticut PCA Workforce Council and SEIU District 1199 NE. Attending a PCA orientation is a condition of employment (mandatory) for any PCA hired on or after January 1, 2015.

Over the years, collective bargaining agreements have also allowed funding for voluntary trainings for PCAs to expand their knowledge and skills.

Mandatory PCA New Hire Orientation

The PCA Orientation Program was established by the collective bargaining agreement between the State of Connecticut PCA Workforce Council and SEIU District 1199 NE. Attending a PCA orientation is a condition of employment (mandatory) for any PCA hired on or after January 1, 2015.

PCAs will have 90 days from their hire date to attend an orientation; if the orientation is not completed within the 90 days, a letter warning of suspension in the following month will be sent to the PCA’s consumer-employer.

There are two orientation options for consumer-employers and their PCAs to choose:

1) Training Fund Led Sessions

The PCA Orientation P is a 3-hour long session, historically held across the state at 15 different locations. Currently, all sessions are being held virtually –via Zoom—and plan to be offered virtually going forward. By Fall 2022, we expect to provide a limited number of in-person sessions for those who require them.

2) Consumer-Employer Led Session with Training Fund Provided 30-minute Portion

If consumer-employers and PCAs choose, most of the session can be completed between consumer-employer and PCA. If this is the option that consumer-employers and PCAs choose to complete, it is still required that the PCA attend the Workers’ Rights portion of the Orientation. This 30-minute portion is provided in the first 30 minutes of the Training Fund led sessions. Once the first portion is complete, PCAs are given credit and are dismissed. During Workers’ Rights presentation, PCAs can choose whether they would like to join the Union, SEIU District 1199 NE.

EOC Form Link

The orientation covers:

Orientations are held most weeks on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Morning, afternoon and evening time slots are available. You may register for an orientation by calling our Enrollment Specialist Team or by visiting our self-enrollment website. (Please scroll down to see a list of our staff and the link to our self-enrollment website. If you have any difficulties when registering, please feel free to call a member of our Enrollment Specialist Team.)

Download Zoom:

*NOTE* You will receive a pre-registration email from the Training Fund staff the day before your session. Please click the pre-registration link and you will then receive a confirmation email from Zoom with the Meeting ID number. If you do not receive the confirmation email from Zoom, please check your JUNK MAIL. Sometimes these follow-up emails go to your junk mail. It is also imperative that you sign into Zoom about 15 minutes before the orientation is set to begin. If you do not, there is a chance that you may be considered late for the session; no PCAs are allowed into the session at or after the start time.

Voluntary Training Sessions

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, all orientations and voluntary trainings were put on hold and the Training Fund temporarily closed its doors in March 2020. When the Training Fund reopened in August 2020, full priority was given to the Mandatory PCA New Hire Orientations.

In May 2022, a new collective bargaining agreement was approved and, in that approval, funds were allocated to resume voluntary trainings. At this time, all voluntary trainings are still being developed. Once available, this page will be updated and directions on how to sign up will be listed here.

Our Team

Tanya Simon

PCA Department

PCA Administrative Coordinator

860-804-4867

tsimon@1199trainingfund.org

Diana Gonzalez

PCA Department

Enrollment Specialist

806-804-4869

dgonzalez@1199trainingfund.org

Christina Fitzpatrick

PCA Department

PCA Training & Orientation Director

860-502-5461