Schenectady County officials today announced that Schenectady County Community College (SCCC) has received the largest single grant in the College’s history, $11.2 million, to train professionals for new jobs in the fast growing health care field. SCCC was one of just four institutions in New York State and one of 32 in the nation to receive the job training funds. SCCC received the largest grant award in New York State and the 11th largest grant in the nation. The grant award is part of a $320 million initiative under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Affordable Care Act (ACA) to strengthen the health care workforce in the United States.
“This is a great achievement for SCCC,” said Dr. Quintin Bullock, SCCC President. “Not only will we be able to provide job training in health care to TANF and low-income students, but through this funding the College is embracing a new program to meet an emerging workforce need in the health care industry, as well as to stimulate economic development in the Capital Region. The demand for health care professionals is expected to continue growing. We remain on the forefront of pursuing innovative ways to expand our workforce training programs to strengthen the development of a skilled workforce.”
“This is an exciting moment for Schenectady County Community College and for all of SUNY,” said State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “This grant will greatly enhance our ability to reach our strategic goal of creating a healthier New York – an important facet of our new strategic plan, The Power of SUNY. I congratulate SCCC and President Quintin Bullock on securing this very significant award.”
The grant funding will enable SCCC to offer a variety of training programs to help program participants get the training they need to enter the fast growing health care industry and then continue their education to achieve higher level positions. For example, the College will offer programs for students to become Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA). Students will then have access to programs to become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and Registered Nurses (RN).
Susan E. Savage, Chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature, said, “Schenectady County continues to lead in creating the jobs of the future. Now our Community College is taking the lead in building the local workforce to fill these jobs. First SCCC created new green energy and battery technology programs, and now with this grant we’ll provide training to hundreds of County residents helping them get good paying jobs in the fast growing health care profession.”
The College will be awarded $2,257,885 for the first year of the five-year project. College officials expect to begin offering programs in January 2011. The program is aimed at serving 600 participants annually. Under the federal program, the College will be allowed to submit a “non-competing continuation grant” application to continue the project funding for five years.
“We are extremely pleased to receive this substantial funding to offer programs for students wishing to enter the health care industry who might otherwise not have the opportunity to pursue their dreams. This was one of the Board’s top priorities for President Bullock, to secure additional federal funding for the institution,” said Denise Murphy McGraw, Chairwoman of the SCCC Board of Trustees. “Part of our mission is lifelong learning. This program, where students can train for careers and continue to have the College as a resource to pursue other positions in health care, exemplifies
Nationwide, the Health Profession Opportunity Grants, totaling $67 million, are administered by the Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Family Assistance.
The program is designed to help train TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) recipients and low-income individuals for a variety of health care professions including: home care aides, certified nursing assistants, medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, emergency medical technicians, licensed vocational nurses, registered nurses, dental assistants, and health information technicians. Through the grant, vital support services will be provided including case management, employment assistance, transportation, dependent care, and temporary housing.
“We’ve seen firsthand how the current economic downturn has severely affected the lives of our low income community members,” said Kathy Cloutier, Executive Director of the Albany Community Action Program (ACAP), who is partnering with SCCC on the program. “We’ve also seen how effective training programs in the high-demand health care industry, combined with strong support services, can lift individuals and their families out of poverty and put them on the path to self-sufficiency. That is our goal, and thanks to this innovative collaboration with SCCC and SCAP, many more lives will be changed for the better.”
Deb Schimpf, Executive Director of Schenectady Community Action Program, another community partner, said, “SCAP is proud to be part of this innovative, tri-county initiative that offers a life-changing opportunity for those earning minimum wage or living in poverty. This pathway to a career in the health care field will allow many individuals and families to put poverty behind them and start earning a living, middle wage. We are talking about real hope for people that will bring about real change.”
“The absence of qualified workers in the health care field threatens the quality and availability of medical care, and the economic stability and growth potential of local communities,” said David A. Hansell, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families, in a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services news release announcing the grant. “The training initiatives will provide low-income families the opportunity for economic independence and a better life for themselves and their children while helping to strengthen our health care workforce.”
To view the complete list of contract winners by state an award tables by state, please visit http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/09d/state_charts.html.
One of the 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, the nation’s largest comprehensive system of higher education, Schenectady County Community College in upstate New York enrolls over 5,000 students. SCCC offers more than
40 career degree, transfer degree and certificate programs. The College opened its doors for classes in 1969 and continues to provide affordable comprehensive higher education and adult educational opportunities in response to local educational needs.