A federal grant worth $202,000 will go to Nassau Community College for health care training programs and related scholarships, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced Tuesday.
The college will use the HUD Community Development Block Grant to train future health care workers by awarding scholarships and expanding its community health worker program.
"We have a growing sector in health care," Curran said in an outdoor news conference at the college in Garden City. "Jobs are growing. There are more jobs coming on line. We want to make sure we're doing everything we can to train our residents so they can take advantage of these jobs."
Health care accounts for more jobs than any other sector on Long Island and was growing even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Curran said.
The growth of New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health, the state's largest private employer, has contributed to that trend.
About half the grant, $100,000, will be allocated for scholarships to aid up to 70 students on a path toward health care careers deemed essential.
Eligible programs include: emergency medical technician, electrocardiogram technician, dental assistant, phlebotomy technician and certified nursing assistant.
The remaining $102,000 will go toward restarting the college's Community Health Worker training program.
The program, offered at no cost to students, is designed to prepare them to be community health workers, who help resolve inequities in health care, particularly in low-income communities.
Curran said the state Department of Labor projects an increase of more than 26% in community health worker jobs over the next 10 years.
To qualify for either program, applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent and a household income up to 80% of a HUD formula for the area's median.
Nassau Community College President Jermaine F. Williams said the Community Block Grant funding will enhance access to job training for Nassau County residents in high demand fields and provide "economic mobility."
"It's imperative that we provide access to exciting careers for traditional college age students and viable educational and professional opportunities for the 2.1 million people 25 or older on our communities who could be looking to advance their knowledge and skill sets to further their education," he said.
The community health care worker program will begin Jan. 6, 2021. Qualified candidates must complete an application and attend orientation.
The courses for essential health care workers have rolling start dates and are open to Nassau County residents who meet qualifications.
The additional HUD funding came through the federal CARES Act as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and attendant economic disruption.
NCC won the funding through an application process open to municipalities and non-profits.