December 7,2017 4:20 a.m.
A state grant will help students in thirteen Douglas County School Districts prepare for a career in health care.
Analicia Nicolson from the Douglas Education Service District says a $432, 000 career readiness grant has been awarded as part of an effort to match students with family-wage, high demand jobs in the local health care industry.
The Oregon Department of Education this week announced awards totaling $10.3 million in Career and Technology Education Revitalization Grant funds. Nicholson says that Douglas Education Service District is the fiscal agent for a $432,367 grant awarded to the Douglas Healthcare Pathways Program. She says the program is a result of a partnership with Douglas ESD, the school districts it serves, Umpqua Community College and 14 local health industry partners.
Funds for the 18 month grant are earmarked for two types of health care pathways. One allows students to compete a Basic Allied Health Certificate in high school. The certificate can help a student quality for allied health careers like being a medical assistant, or will help them continue their education for careers like surgical, lab or pharmacy technician work.
Nicholson says when a student applies for a job and has that certificate, it tells employers that the applicant has taken classes and has a background in the subject matter. She says it also signals that the candidate could be successful in the position.
The programs second component is geared toward students on a path to careers that require more education and training like registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and physician assistants. It will consist of classes or other structured guidance to help students ensure they have enrolled in the necessary prerequisites and curriculum to follow through with their goals.
Nicholson says the program will also arrange for UCC staff to collaborate with high school teachers for students on both pathways, so that teachers are prepared to lead classes their students will need.
Randy Hubbard, a registered nurse and main surgical services manager at CHI Mercy Medical Center says the CTE grant approval and revitalization project will help create new and exciting educational pathways and career opportunities for local high school students.