Pathway to the Future: How Workforce Development and Quality Jobs Can Promote Quality Care Conference Package. Rural Healthcare Job Training and Economic Recovery Program in the Columbia River Gorge

05/01/2004

Grant amount: $1,250,000

Leveraged amount: $542,501 from four local hospitals, four long-term care facilities, foundations, and Columbia Gorge Community College; $328,481 in-kind from health care businesses and Columbia Gorge Community College

Grantee: Columbia Gorge Community College, The Dalles, Oregon

Key partners: Eight area hospitals and health care providers, Region 9 Workforce Investment Board and its One-Stop Career Centers, K-12 school districts, Oregon Health and Science University, and city and county governments

Grant activities will take place in Gilliam, Hood River, Sherman, Wasco, and Wheeler Counties in Oregon; Klickitat and Skamania Counties in Washington.

Challenge
Economic downturns have left high numbers of displaced workers requiring education and retraining to transition into health care positions. Without programs, the health care industry will not be able to draw from this non-traditional labor pool to fill vacancies.

Addressing the Challenge
With its $1,250,000 grant, Columbia Gorge Community College and its partners will create a Health Occupations Career Ladder Nursing Program to train 200 new workers. CGCC will expand its offerings and opportunities for an Associate Degree in Nursing and a distance learning option for a Bachelor Degree of Nursing Program.

Projected Outcomes
Trainees will emerge from the Health Occupations Program with the skills, licenses, and experience needed for health care employment. Of the 200 trainees who enter the Career Ladder, 85 percent will pass licensing exams, and 85 percent will achieve employment at their target career level within the grant period. Further, 90 percent of incumbent workers will receive pay raises as a result of their additional credentials. Forty nurses of 200 total trainees will have the opportunity to earn a BSN through Columbia Gorge's dual admission agreement with Oregon Health and Science University.

Sustainable Impact
Besides the matching funds already supplied, regional businesses have committed financial support to the program for at least one year after the grant. Also, the Healthcare Demonstration Project grant will be replaced with Oregon State Reimbursement Funds at the end of the grant period.

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