By Shawn Jennison, Director of Communications & Marketing, Clover Park Technical College
Lakewood — Clover Park Technical College and Tacoma Community College have received a $145,000 Hospital Employee Education and Training (HEET) grant from the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges to provide enhanced education for hospital workers in Pierce County.
The collaborative effort is being supported by MultiCare Health Systems and United Food and Commercial Workers UFCW Local 21. Funding through this grant will provide training for up to 30 employees who wish to enter a nursing career pathway.
An adequately trained healthcare workforce remains a critical component of the region’s economic recovery and long-term growth. In spite of the current unemployment situation, vacancy rates in nursing continue to challenge hospitals and clinics. The Health Care Personnel Shortage Task Force, a body convened by the Washington State Legislature to address the need for qualified healthcare workers, reports that nursing vacancies are the highest of any industry and will continue to see growth throughout the next decade.
The funding will enable the college to offer the Nursing Assistant Certified program and nursing prerequisite courses for MultiCare employees. “We look forward to partnering with CPTC to serve MultiCare as a vital healthcare provider in Pierce County,” said Lisa Edwards, Dean for Enterprise and Economic Development at TCC.
MultiCare and UFCW 21 released a joint statement echoing the enthusiasm for the project: “MultiCare and UFCW 21 have a history of providing developmental and career opportunities for MHS employees. We are pleased to be working together on this grant.”
Established in 1998, HEET promotes labor, management and college partnerships to fund flexible training programs for health professionals. A report published last year by the University of Oregon found that HEET has been particularly successful in creating sustainable solutions to curriculum delivery while reducing overall costs.
Lori Banaszak, Vice President for Instruction at Clover Park Technical College believes the joint venture bodes well for the future. “At Clover Park, our focus is on preparing individuals for success in the workplace and we are very pleased to partner with Tacoma Community College in offering quality career instruction to UFCW 21 employees at Multicare Health Systems. We see this as the beginning of a great partnership for everyone and look forward to many more collaborative opportunities.”