Community College of Aurora has been selected as one of 17 colleges nationally from 90 applicants to participate in the Job Ready, Willing and Able project funded by the Walmart Foundation through the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).
CCA will receive $150,000 over three years to launch a new Patient Care Technician (PCT) certificate program and assist unemployed community residents with healthcare skills and job placement. The funding is part of an overall $4.19 million outlay for Job Ready, Willing and Able (JRWA) by Walmart Foundation that includes $2.67 million directly supporting the 17 community colleges across the country.
The JRWA initiative addresses current and potential growth of jobs in communities, with colleges working closely with local businesses, economic development leaders and area workforce systems to collaboratively address the needs of the unemployed.
CCA currently is building out its healthcare education and training programs in a deliberate and systematic way in response to employer demand. A 25 percent growth rate is projected for healthcare support occupations through 2020 – more than twice the statewide rate for jobs overall.
The expanded healthcare launch at CCA begins in Fall 2014 through the Healthcare Bridge Certificate program, which is designed to provide medical terminology; contextualized communication; and basic patient care skills for English as a Second Language students.
The PCT certificate program represents an important next phase and furthers the college’s emphasis on ‘stackable’ credentials. These intentionally linked academic curriculum have labor market value and increase an individual’s employment and earnings power.
“The potential for this program to change lives is huge,” Community College of Aurora President Betsy Oudenhoven said. “We have students in our service area who simply need workforce skills, and providing them with an education that functions as a swift entry into a good job in the community while meeting local healthcare needs is what it’s all about.”