Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) will receive $1.9 million from the Department of Labor for the Bridges2Healthcare grant, which focuses on targeting displaced workers to improve necessary knowledge, skills and credentials to achieve well-paying employment. CVTC will offer more classes within many healthcare programs, including Nursing-Associate Degree and Medical Assistant. The College will also offer more General Educational Development (GED) certificate preparation, along with job-ready boot camps on computer literacy; career exploration; job-building skills, such as resume writing and interview skills; and study skills. CVTC will be working with Workforce Development, Literacy Volunteers Chippewa Valley and Dove Healthcare to help achieve the goal of serving 500 people in the next three years.
“It’s vital for CVTC to find alternative funding such as the Brudges2Healthcare grant,” stated Bruce Barker, CVTC president. “With decreasing state aid, this grant will help close the gap, allowing CVTC to do its part to boost our local economy with well-trained employees.”
“This grant will help build the bridge within the growing healthcare industry, and it will also get people back into the workforce,” commented Margo Keys, vice president of Student Services. “It's about creating pathways. From encouraging those to get their GED, to those who may already be a certified nursing assistant, it’s about encouraging them to continue their education to take the next step in their healthcare career.”
“We are thrilled to combine our various strengths to do the most to help those in our community maximize their success and get jobs,” Mary Beth Kelley Lowe, Literacy Volunteers Chippewa Valley executive director commented. “Having our organization be a part of this will help CVTC students succeed.”
CVTC is working through a consortium with seven other community and technical colleges in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. As a whole, the consortium has been awarded over $12.5 million for targeted job training and workforce development. The funding was awarded through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative, a program created in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. Consortium members include Northeast Iowa Community College, Hawkeye Community College, Rochester Technical College, Minnesota State College Southeast Technical, Riverland Community College, Chippewa Valley Technical College, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College and Western Technical College.
The Bridges2HealthCare project is part of a $500 million national effort announced by the U.S. Department of Labor, together with the U.S. Department of Education, to support community colleges with job training and workforce development to help economically dislocated workers who are changing careers. This is the first installment in a $2 billion, four-year investment. More than 200 community colleges applied for the grants, which range from about $2.7 million to $25 million, but only 49 have been chosen to receive the money so far, officials from the U.S. Departments of Labor and of Education said in announcing the awards.