FMCC, HVCC get retraining grants

Federal funding will create a pathway for some of the hundreds of unemployed people in the Capital R

Federal funding will create a pathway for some of the hundreds of unemployed people in the Capital Region to learn a new trade and land a job in the health care or technology fields.

More than 600 people will be trained to fill positions that offer good pay and benefits with $6.2 million in grant funding announced Friday for two local community colleges.

Hudson Valley Community College in Troy will get $3.38 million and Fulton Montgomery Community College in Johnstown will receive $2.86 million from a Department of Labor program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, federal legislators said.

“Right now, our first priority must be jobs, jobs, jobs,” U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a news release.

Representatives from local hospitals joined administrators at FMCC Friday afternoon to outline a new three-year program called Healthcare Employment and Leadership Hub, or HEALTH, which will recruit qualified candidates for nursing studies.

FMCC President Dustin Swanger said the grant will help the college fill the need in the health care field, expected to grow both with the aging population and expected retirements.

The college is planning to train a total of 233 people. Seventeen candidates will qualify for a registered nurse program, and 102 will be trained and certified as nursing assistants.

Another 114 currently registered nurses will be given supervisory training to upgrade their skills.

Swanger said the college’s program will also provide Spanish language training to address the needs of residents who can qualify for nursing work but speak English as a second language.

Amsterdam-based Centro Civico will be working with the college to recruit these students, an effort seen as a way to make sure the entire community is served, said Nicolas Morales, a director at Centro Civico.

Morales said a skilled work force will open the door for economic recovery.

During the grant application process, Swanger said, the college has secured several entities as partners, including St. Mary’s and Nathan Littauer hospitals, nursing homes and government agencies.

Hudson Valley Community College, the site of a September 2009 visit from President Barack Obama, will direct the funding towards its biotechnology and biomanufacturing programs and provide certificates or associate degrees recognized by high-tech industries, according to the college.

Some of HVCC’s funding will be directed to local high schools for workshops and training for students considering the sciences.

The Troy college offers a two-year biotechnology degree, a one-year certificate and other programs considered as transfer degrees for the pre-med, veterinary and research fields, according to the college.

Categories: Schenectady County

Leave a Reply