Modified: January 23, 2015 3:04pm
WIB, Partners receive $270,000 grant from NYS OTDA to train job seekers in healthcare occupations
ERIE COUNTY, NY— The Buffalo & Erie County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. (“WIB”) has received a $270,000 grant from the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (“OTDA”) to assist in training job-seekers in healthcare occupations. The WIB, one of fourteen agencies statewide sharing a total of over $3.6 million in funding under the Career Pathways program, will partner with Erie 1 BOCES, Kaleida Health, and Catholic Health in the fall to offer training and education to participants as they move along healthcare career trajectories.
“Jobs in the health care sector are in demand and are a significant part of our growing economy here in Erie County, so this grant is very well-timed and will assist greatly in getting new personnel up-to-speed in this expanding economic sector,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Moreover, the Career Pathways Program is invaluable in that it creates opportunities for young adults and individuals receiving public assistance to get training and pursue a career in any of a number of fields that have tremendous growth potential. This benefits workers and our overall economic health both now and in the future.”
Training provided by Erie 1 BOCES will focus on five in-demand healthcare occupations: Certified Nursing Assistant, Home Health Aid & Phlebotomist, Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician, and Medical Office Assistant. Participation is open to individuals who are un- or underemployed and who meet Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (“TANF”) eligibility requirements. Program participants will not only earn an occupational certificate that will be immediately applicable in the local labor market but will also develop a portable skillset that translates easily into advanced education and training or other positions in the growing healthcare field.
“With his grant, more people will have the opportunity to explore employment opportunities in health care while increasing their living wage and building skills that will apply across that sector. Participants can use this training to enter the workforce more quickly and continue to grow professionally while they are employed,” added Heather Okoro, WIB Executive Director. “Area healthcare employers will also now have access to a certified, skilled pool of workers ready to step in and perform needed functions across a continuum of care, making this a win for everyone involved.”
The program is expected to begin within the next few weeks. The Career Pathways II grant was awarded for the first 12-month program cycle, and has the potential of being renewed for the next four years (based on the availability of funding), bringing the potential total grant over five years to $1.35 million. The program is 100% milestone-cost reimbursement funded.
For more information:
On the Buffalo & Erie County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. visit www.becwib.org