Colleges score grants for health IT jobs

October 8, 2014 in Medical Technology

The government’s new $450 million job training program targets 270 community colleges across the country, many of which plan to offer courses in health IT.

The funding is part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training, or TAACCCT, competitive grant program, which is co-administered by the Department of Labor and Department of Education.

The grants, announced on Sept. 29 by Vice President Joe Biden will provide community colleges and other eligible institutions of higher education with funds to partner with employers to expand and improve their ability to deliver education and career training programs. The intent is to help job seekers get the skills they need for in-demand jobs in industries like information technology, healthcare, energy, and advanced manufacturing.

Twenty-five grantees are developing new training programs for information technology and cybersecurity jobs. These jobs span all sectors of the economy. Non-IT industries currently employ two-thirds of private sector IT workers, according to the Department of Labor.

[See also: HIT jobs: Where are they, and who’s paying the best salaries.]

Fourteen community colleges from across the state of Maryland are coming together with employer partners including IBM, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Rockwell Collins, Booz Allen, Medstar and a number of hospitals to develop training pathways for low-income workers with minimal prior education or experience in information technology or cybersecurity.

To increase the likelihood of participant fit and success, participants will get upfront assessments, career planning, and job search support, Biden announced. Students will also accelerate through a two-year degree that is aligned with NSA guidelines for Security Information Assurance programs. Virtual internships will also be offered to all students to increase their interaction with employers. In the next three years, the program intends to graduate nearly 2,000 students and employer partners have already committed to interviewing qualified graduates.

Also announced is a $2.5 million grant to fund a new Ivy Tech Computing and Informatics School in Indiana. The school will offer eight new IT degree programs with curriculum designed to meet employer needs.

[See also: Health informatics jobs growing.]

Virginia and four of the state’s community colleges received a total of $14 million in grants.

Virginia State University received $3.2 million to provide training in the wireless industry for veterans, dislocated and underemployed workers, which includes the Warriors4Wireless program, one of only two such programs in the U.S. The college will work to accelerate credential completion, implement new instruction models, bolster online and technology-enabled learning, implement apprenticeships, and offer Wireless Technician certificates and associate and baccalaureate degrees.

“VSU is honored that the Department of Labor has entrusted us with federal assistance to develop this wireless infrastructure career training program,” said VSU President Keith T. Miller, in a news release. “The market demand for wireless network workers remains strong in our region and throughout the country. This grant will help VSU stay at the forefront of helping to build Virginia’s economic and technological future.”

See a state-by-state description of grants here.

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