Luis Rodríguez / Tejano Tribune
(L-R) EPCC Vice President Steve Smith, President William Serrata, Texas Workforce Comissioner Hope Andrade, Chief Nursing Officer Cindy Stout, Upper Rio Grande Workforce Solutions CEO Joyce Wilson and Selena Solis, EPCC board of trustees secretary holding the $156,479 check that will fund medical training.
Texas Workforce Commissioner Hope Andrade presented a check of $156,479 to El Paso Community College on Sept. 29 at the Administrative Services Center to fund the education of students in the medical field.
The Skill Development Fund Grant is part of the Texas Workforce Commission’s (TWC) new Healthcare Innovation Project, which is designed towards the custom training of new and current registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses and certified assistants, through a partnership between EPCC and Del Sol Medical Center.
“It’s going to be [used] to upgrade the skills of 231 existing healthcare employees of Del Sol Medical Center and then to hire 16 additional and it’ll be used to train them and update their skills,” Serrata said.
“This division will be creating 21 or 22 customized forces for them to upgrade their skills.”
“It’s a great opportunity because the employer gets to upgrade the skills of their workforce and El Paso Community College has always done a fabulous job in training,” Andrade said.
Serrata said that if trainees get accredited or reaccredited, their salaries would rise.
“They’ll have to take a certification exam and upon the successful completion of their certification exam their wages will be increased dramatically to a little over $24 an hour, which is about $51,000 a year,” Serrata said.
Trainees will include new and old members of the partner hospital’s workforce.
“They have to currently be employed with Del Sol [Medical Center] or be one of the incoming folks,” said Steve Smith, vice president of instruction at EPCC.
“One of the issues in the medical field is that technology changes so fast,” Smith said.
“For anyone that’s been out in the field for 10 or so years, this course will help them get up to speed on this kind of technology in the healthcare field.”