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Healthcare training facility celebrates opening in Detroit, receives $30,000 from Motor City Match

Mar 22, 2021

  • Yes We CNA opened in 2019, has graduated more than 500 students ages 16 to 70
  • Motor City Match (MCM) Round 15 cash grant awardee of $30,000
  • Training facility among several Black-, female- and Detroit resident-owned businesses receiving support from MCM, City of Detroit, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC)

DETROIT – Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Kevin Johnson, DEGC President and CEO, joined Samania Peterson, owner of Yes We CNA, to celebrate the grand opening of the Detroit-based healthcare training facility today.

Located at 18820 Woodward Ave., Yes We CNA is a MCM Round 15 cash awardee of $30,000. The facility places students on a fast track to become certified nursing assistants. After just four weeks of training and hands-on clinical practice, Yes We CNA graduates are prepared for a rewarding career in a number of healthcare-related positions in various settings such as hospitals and in-home care.

“Healthcare is one of the industries with the greatest opportunity in Detroit and I’m thrilled that Samania is helping Detroiters like her get into the field through her training program,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “This past year has shown us all just how important healthcare workers are to each of us. Yes We CNA is another great example of how Motor City Match is helping so many female and Black entrepreneurs realize their dreams and open businesses that benefit the community.”

Peterson is a Detroit resident and registered nurse with 27 years of healthcare experience. She first opened Yes We CNA in 2019 and then moved locations, renovating her new space with the help of MCM. More than 500 students have graduated from Yes We CNA, ages 16 to 70, and come from as far away as Ypsilanti and Port Huron for classes. Upon completing the State of Michigan licensing exam – for which Peterson hosts an intense bootcamp – graduates enter the workforce with a starting wage of $15/hour and higher. Due in part to the pandemic, the placement rate of Yes We CNA graduates is 100 percent.

Peterson said Yes We CNA is committed to enabling knowledgeable, highly skilled and competent individuals to care for those unable to care for themselves or who need assistance with daily living. Because of the high demand, Peterson now offers morning, afternoon and evening classes. Expansion, she said, is also part of her plan.

“Students of Yes We CNA learn to provide respect and dignity to each client in a loving and caring manner,” said Peterson. “My goal is to educate and empower Detroiters to become independent financially, emotionally and spiritually. The school is affordable, enjoyable and educational. I hope to inspire Detroit’s youth and create even more productive citizens for the City of Detroit.”

Yes We CNA is one of 115 open Motor City Match businesses that have received support from the program. Of those businesses, 81 percent are minority-owned, 71 percent are women-owned and 64 percent are owned by Detroit residents. The program continues to have a large and positive impact on Detroit’s small business community, including:

  • 23 more MCM businesses are expected to open in 2021
  • More than 1,000 jobs have been created as a result of open MCM businesses
  • $9.5 million has been awarded in cash grants through MCM and Motor City Re-Store, which has leveraged $44.1M in additional investment into Detroit’s neighborhoods
  • Over 300 additional businesses that are open and operating as home-based, mobile and ecommerce businesses have been launched with the help of MCM

“Motor City Match has had a tremendous impact on Detroit,” said Johnson. “More Detroiters are on a path to economic mobility, have been given a chance to pursue their passions, and have access to goods and services in their neighborhoods. Moving forward we will use what has been learned to create even stronger support for Detroit’s small business community – the heartbeat of our City.”

“I took the State of Michigan test and can now say I am an officially certified CNA,” said former student Edna Martinez. “Samania is very professional and such a blessing to those who are seeking to become a CNA. She makes learning fun and dedicates her time so students can truly learn and perform the skills with passion. If you are seeking to become a CNA and want to learn from the best, I recommend Samania and Yes We CNA. Hands down, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Samania and her passion.”

About Motor City Match

Motor City Match is a unique partnership between the City of Detroit, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit (EDC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Competitive financial assistance is supported by a broad partnership of Southeast Michigan community development financial institutions and corporations. Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is a non-profit organization that serves as the lead implementing agency for business retention, attraction and economic development initiatives in Detroit.


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