$5 Million Grant Will Train Healthcare Workers

U.S. Senators Jim Webb and Mark R. Warner recently announced the award of a $5 million federal grant to a public-private partnership of colleges, universities and hospitals in Hampton Roads and on the Peninsula to provide education, training and job placement assistance in the healthcare field. The U.S. Department of Labor competitive grant program targets healthcare jobs which are in demand and for which local employers have had to rely upon H-1B visas to hire foreign workers.

The Hampton Roads Healthcare Workforce Partnership (HR-HWP) estimates that the grant will provide training for more than 330 people. The partnership is made up of Norfolk State University, Tidewater Community College, Thomas Nelson Community College, Paul D. Camp Community College, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, the Greater Peninsula Workforce Investment Board, the Hampton Roads Workforce Development Board (Opportunity Inc. of Hampton Roads), Bon Secours Health System, Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, Riverside Health System and Sentara Health Systems.

“One of the largest barriers to economic growth in many communities is the shortage of a skilled workforce, and I am pleased that Hampton Roads will benefit from this investment,” said Webb. “This grant will help ensure that our workers have the chance to succeed in jobs where there is a documented need for trained workers,” said Warner.

The grants are funded through fees paid by employers to bring foreign workers into the United States under the H-1B program. The grants are intended to raise the technical skill levels of American workers, reducing need to use the H-1B program. The project will work with employers to identify workforce needs, partner with public and private colleges and universities to develop appropriate education and training programs, and provide job placement services.

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