New workforce development program announced, training center opened

August 29, 2023

Officials from Tri-County Technical College (TCTC), Honor Health Career Programs (HHCP) and HMR Veterans Services, Inc. (HMRVSI), announced a new workforce development program today (August 18) aimed at addressing a critical shortage of health care workers.

The new program enables certified nursing assistants working at the Richard M. Campbell Nursing Home in Anderson to engage in education and training to become licensed practical nurses. What makes the program unique is that the education and training are provided onsite rather than on a college campus. HMRVSI provides the learning environment, TCTC delivers the education, and HHCP provides mentoring and funding for tuition, books and supplies.

Samantha Keefe (left) and Kimaka Evans (right), two of the three students who completed the new workforce development program, cut a ribbon in celebration of the education and training center at Richard M. Campbell Veterans Nursing Home.

“Our role as a community college is to educate highly skilled workers for positions in business and industry, and we measure our success by our ability to ensure our students earn a high-quality credential that leads to a job that pays a family-sustaining wage,” said TCTC President Dr. Galen DeHay. “Partnerships are essential to increasing educational attainment and creating workforce pipelines. The partnership we have with HMR Veterans Services and Honor Health Career Programs is a perfect example of how we are meeting a critical workforce need through a sustainable nursing pipeline.”

HMRVSI’s 1,100-square foot education and training facility was built specifically for the workforce development program and is located adjacent to the Richard M. Campbell Nursing Home in Anderson. The facility, which is accredited by SACSCOC and the South Carolina Board of Nursing, was funded by HMRVSI along with a grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs. It features classroom space and training equipment such as a high-fidelity adult patient simulator, a nursing skills manikin, tablets, patient beds, wheelchairs, medication cart and more.

In addition to the training facility, employees are able to complete some of their clinical rotations at the nursing home, thereby eliminating a major barrier for working students.

“Our collective vision for this program began four years ago, and I’m proud of the innovative career growth solution we created for our community and the nursing career pathway we established for our employees who want to continue their education while balancing full-time employment and other responsibilities,” said HMRVSI’s Chief Operating Officer Heyward Hilliard. “In addition, this partnership model has provided the framework to facilitate similar nursing programs at six other state veterans nursing homes in South Carolina and Alabama. Tri-County’s tradition of providing quality education and innovative training opportunities that strengthen communities extends far beyond Anderson County. I am excited for our employees and for what they have and will achieve.”

Samantha Keefe (left) and Kimaka Evans (right) are two of the three students who completed the new workforce development program at Richard M. Campbell Veterans Nursing Home. Not pictured: Caitlyn Phillips (student).

Kimaka Evans, Samantha Keefe and Caitlyn Phillips were the first HMRVSI employees to enroll in the program and to take classes in the new facility. All three completed the program and earned their LPN degrees this summer.

In addition to earning their LPN degrees and meeting a critical workforce need, they increased their earning potential and have an established pathway to a registered nurse degree and beyond. In fact, both Evans and Phillips plan to pursue their RN degree while working as LPNs, and Keefe plans to study to become a nurse practitioner while working as an LPN.

“Honor Health Career Programs is driving change in the senior care industry by helping the direct care workforce face barriers and challenges to economic mobility. Through purposeful connections between education and work, lives can be transformed,” said HHCP Executive Director Erin Fredericks. “The partnerships established with both HMR Veterans Services and Tri-County are continuing to create strong connections and are addressing critical workforce needs across our state and beyond.”

The next cohort of HMRVSI employees will begin classes in January 2024 with an estimated graduation date of May 2025.

Tri-County Technical College nursing faculty pose with two of the three students who completed the new workforce development program at Richard M. Campbell Veterans Nursing Home. From left to right: Dr. Ahmed Chaudhry, Janet Fuller, Samantha Keefe (student), Kimaka Evans (student), Jackie Rutledge, and Julie Beard. Not pictured: Caitlyn Phillips (student).



About Tri-County Technical College

Tri-County Technical College, a public two-year community and technical college serving Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties in South Carolina, enrolls more than 9,000 students annually and offers more than 70 major fields of study, including computer technology, business administration, mechatronics, nursing, and university transfer programs. Tri-County boasts the highest student success rate among two-year colleges in the state and ranks in the top one percent nationally for successful student transfers to four-year colleges and universities. To learn more, visit

About HMR Veterans Services, Inc.

HMR Veterans Services, Inc., was formerly known as HMR Governmental Services, Inc. The company was established in 1998 to provide management services to state veterans homes. The company’s leadership recognized that veterans homes served a unique group with unique physical and psychosocial needs. To create a dedicated approach to veterans care, and a dedicated company to oversee that, HMRVSI was formed on October 1, 2005, to address the specific needs of veterans in state homes. This focus has led to a variety of programs unique to veterans homes and a unique involvement in the communities served. To learn more, visit


About Honor Health Career Programs

Honor Health Career Programs was founded in 2020 to address the need for solutions to the labor shortage in the direct care workforce. Despite being fundamentally important and essential, the direct care workforce is among the lowest paid workforce population in health care. HHCP’s mission is to drive change to the direct health care workforce by addressing barriers to career development, providing access to higher education and creating engagement through mentorship. HHCP has tremendous success in empowering our scholars to reach their goals through career advancement. We currently serve over 50 scholars pursing their career in nursing throughout South Carolina and Alabama. To learn more, visit