Teaming up to improve medical student skills

June 28, 2016

Adilene Archuleta / Tejano Tribune

Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar signing the check for El Paso Community College


El Paso Community College (EPCC) and the Hospitals of Providence received a $481,813 Skills Development Fund grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).

EPCC and the Hospitals of Providence partnered together to provide job-training for 331 new and incumbent workers. The grant will benefit Workforce Solutions Borderplex area workers.

“This is the Workforce and Continuing Education part of the college. We always think of the college as having traditional credit earning students, which is 90% or more of the institution,” said EPCC President William Serrata.


“When we say non-credit –they are not in a program of study, but they are still having a customized training developed so that they can upgrade their skills at work.”

EPCC currently has about 29,000 credit-students. In addition, it has about 5,000 non-credit students, which is similar to what these new and incumbent workers will be.

“What you are seeing is an opportunity for us to develop and continue to develop the talent of El Paso,” said Serrata. “The data is so clear. The more you learn –the more you earn and the less likely you are to be unemployed.”

TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar presented the check to EPCC and members of the Hospitals of Providence team.

“We’re happy to invest in this partnership because it’s EPCC responding to the specific needs of Providence, and in this case, the workers involved in the training will receive skills that will propel their futures forward. It’s a very exciting investment,” said Alcantar. 

But he did not end there.

“I’m so proud of EPCC. They are leaders in a number of different areas. Their alignment with the needs of interests of our companies in the region is critical,” Alcantar continued. “They have really accelerated their ability to offer the solutions to the companies. I am pleased with the efforts and the results.”

The Skills Developmental fund is a $50 million bi-annual grant, and it is up to the community colleges and the technical schools to reach out and apply for these grants.

The job-training grant will be used to develop customized training in areas such as basic nursing, critical care, neonatal intensive care nursing, emergency and operating room care, chemotherapy infusion and respiratory therapy.

Trainees will include registered nurses, nursing assistants, phlebotomists, radiologic technologists and respiratory therapists. Workers stand to receive an average wage of $26.02 upon completion of the training. 


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