Feds Invest $4.7M In SW Va. Health IT Job Training Programs

Tuesday (June 29th), U.S. Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner announced that a network of community colleges, workforce investment boards and health care providers in 29 western Virginia localities will share a $4.7 million federal grant to provide job training in health care information technology. Virginia Highlands Community College in Abingdon is leading this regional effort, called the Western Virginia Health Information Technology Education (HITE) Initiative. The program will create and or expand regional training programs to provide Virginians with skills and the required credentials to be able to work in the health care industry’s transition to electronic medical records.

This initiative will provide training programs for close to 700 out-of-work and underemployed Virginians in 29 mostly rural western Virginia localities, including the cities of Roanoke, Blacksburg and Bristol.

“Health care is projected to generate more jobs than any other industry in the coming years, largely in response to rapid growth in the elderly population. By providing Virginians with jobs skills that will make them competitive in the growing health field, we are making a smart investment in our workforce as well as ensuring access to quality health care for Virginia residents in the future,” said Senator Webb.

“This investment in VHCC’s health IT training programs will provide an opportunity for out-of-work Virginians to improve their skills and enhance their qualifications in the emerging field of electronic medical records,” said Senator Warner. “By upgrading our training programs and investing in our workforce, we also can support our existing health care industry and attract new employers to the region.”

The Department of Labor’s Community-Based Job Training Program provides grants for community colleges and organizations to implement improved workforce development for high-need local industry.

Here is a list of the program partners:
Consortium consisting of the following community colleges serving Western Virginia: Virginia Western Community College, New River Community College, Mountain Empire Community College, Southwest Virginia Community College, Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board, New River/Mt. Rogers Workforce Investment Board, and Western Virginia Workforce Development Board, Carilion Clinic, Montgomery Regional Hospital (HCA), Pulaski Community Hospital (HCA), Holston Medical Group, Clinch Valley Medical Center (Lifepoint), Wellmont Health Systems, Buchanan General Hospital, Mountain States Health Alliance : Dickenson Community Hospital, Clintwood, VA; Johnston Memorial Hospital, Abingdon, VA; Russell County Medical Center, Lebanon, VA; Smyth County Community Hospital and Francis Marion Manor, Marion, VA, and Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine.