WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, together with U.S. Representative John Delaney (all D-Md.) today announced that the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded a $110,000 federal grant to Garrett College to expand health career training programs at the Career Technology Training Center in Accident.
“By training Garrett College Students to address the needs of the county’s aging population, ARC is investing in the medical and economic future of the county,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Health Care Subcommittee. “I applaud ARC’s two-pronged approach to improving health outcomes for Garrett County residents while also giving students the tools they need to find well-paying jobs. The lifesaving and hands-on experience this training will provide is invaluable and I look forward to supporting similar opportunities across Maryland.”
“This federal funding is good news for Garrett County that will help prepare students today for in-demand health care jobs tomorrow while keeping families healthy,” said Senator Mikulski, a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. “Marylanders in our rural communities need a government on their side so they can access affordable, quality care regardless of their zip code. Federal funding, like this grant, is an investment in the health and well-being of our aging population as well as the economic security of Garrett County.”
“I’m proud to announce this major federal investment in Garrett College and Garrett County. This has the potential to be a double bottom line for Garrett County, leading to both better local job training and education and improved health care services,” said Congressman Delaney. “The grant is real-world federal support for a local program that works right here in Western Maryland. Government works best when federal, state and local voices work together and along with Senator Cardin and Senator Mikulski, I will continue to support efforts to expand education and improve health care services in Garrett County.”
Garrett College will use these federal funds to expand health career training programs at the Technology Training Center in Accident. The project will improve instructional resources for students, and help establish at least three new allied health programs. Short-term allied health training programs can provide excellent preparation for entry level positions, but students enrolled in local educational programs lack access to hands-on learning opportunities with modern technology. Garrett College seeks to improve hands-on learning opportunities for students in health career fields, and to establish new allied health training programs that respond to the needs of both students and employers. In particular, ARC and matching funds will create an allied health laboratory with a new simulation manikin. Students expected to use this facility include those in the two-year paramedic associates degree program, and certificate programs for certified nursing assistants and phlebotomists.
In addition, the college will assemble a three year plan for developing new allied health programming, in discussion with hospitals, medical providers, and other partners in the region. At least three new programs will be offered in 2016. Fields under consideration include pharmacy technicians and EKG technicians.
Garrett County has an aging population which will increasingly require expanded healthcare services and a larger healthcare workforce.
Within three years, Garrett College expects to serve nearly 85 students in allied health programs. Of those, 90 percent are expected to obtain a career credential or a job, or will continue education in their chosen field. In addition to the ARC funds, the grantee will provide $110,000 in cash and in-kind resources, bringing the total project funding to $220,000.
ARC is a federal-state partnership that promotes economic development in 13 states throughout the Appalachian region. In 2014, Maryland received $4.7 million in ARC funding, including $1.8 million for 18 local projects and $2.9 million for access road construction.
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