MT Colleges Receive $15 million Grant to Improve Healthcare Trai - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

MT Colleges Receive $15 million Grant to Improve Healthcare Training

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HELENA -

Today the U.S. Department of Labor announced that Montana colleges received a $15 million grant to help improve workforce development in the health care industry.

The healthcare industry expects to demand 1,300 jobs each year until 2022, meaning Montana is in need of professionals to fill those positions more than ever.

Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education/Two Year Colleges John Cech said,"Montana right now is the fifth oldest state in the nation. With an aging population...baby boomers are going to be retiring, which is going to put new demands on healthcare industry which is also going to require more people in healthcare workforce."

The Montana HealthCARE grant will establish Montana's first ever apprenticeship programs with 39 different healthcare providers, create accelerated healthcare pathways at two year colleges, and facilitate academic progression from two year community colleges to universities. Governor Steve Bullock said the grant is a helpful component to the "Train and Educate Tomorrow's Workforce Today" pillar for the Main Street Montana project.

"This grant for healthcare--15 different colleges and universities involved 39 different employers--really is at the core of that," Bullock said. "Accessing what our needs will be in the future an we know that health care will continue to be one of the fast growing parts of our economy and making sure that we have actually the workforce to meet those needs."

Missoula College University of Montana is administering the grant and the money will be disbursed among 15 two year, community, and tribal colleges. UM President Royce Engstrom said implementing the program will need to be all hands on deck from the colleges involved.

"This is very much a team effort to strengthen our ability to produce tomorrow's healthcare professionals," Engstrom said.

Engstromsaid thee University of Montana and its partners are eager to launch their efforts with the program.

"Our folks are ready to hit the ground running now that this news is here--they've been waiting to hear this and so they're ready to charge forward and put into motion all of the great ideas and all of the proposals that were in that grant," Engstrom said.

The grant is expected to result in about 2,500 completed health certificates and two year degrees in allied health and nursing.

 

 

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