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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 6, 2018

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Whatcom Community College

WCC awarded more than $770,000 in aerospace and healthcare grant funding

The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) approved grants for healthcare and aerospace training totaling more than $770,000, which will go to expand aerospace and healthcare programs at Whatcom Community College (WCC) to support workforce needs. Aerospace - SBCTC’s Aerospace grant SBCTC awarded WCC $320,000 to fund 40 additional full-time students, expanding capacity for the engineering transfer program. Currently, 86% of WCC’s transferring students attend WWU, located just five miles away. WCC and WWU have a vibrant transfer relationship and the university fully endorses this proposal. Through this expansion project, WCC will serve as the only comprehensive engineering transfer program north of Everett and will offer pathways in aeronautical engineering, industrial engineering, manufacturing, plastics and composites, and more. Healthcare - HEET 11 grants WCC will lead a new Hospital Employee Education and Training (HEET) grant project as the lead college with a partnership with Highline College. It will continue ongoing projects with Bellingham Technical College and Spokane Falls Community College. WCC’s awarded grants across the three projects total is $477,311. In partnership with Highline College, the new grant will address workforce shortages, remedy skills gaps, and increase diversity in language and culture in the behavioral health workforce and acute care environments serving patients with behavioral health needs. In response to emerging trends, the project creates behavioral health pathways for staff in relevant acute care, primary care, mental health, and substance use disorder organizations. In partnership with BTC, WCC will expand nursing pathways for incumbent workers and partner with Lake Washington Institute of Technology and WCC to meet industry demand for registered nurses and nursing assistant certified (NAC) employees with enhanced skills. In its third year, this grant will establish new pathways for practical nurses to gain registered nursing licensure; assist other healthcare workers to enroll in nursing programs, NAC, and nursing program prerequisite courses; and continue development and implementation of courses in acute care, behavioral health, and aging populations. Spokane Falls CC and Whatcom will continue the fast-track 15-credit Chemical Dependency Professional certificate online program by offering two new cohorts of students, over three quarters – Fall 2018 through Spring 2019. The project provides chemical dependency education to established mental health professionals to meet industry demands.

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