Today the US Department of Labor announced that Montana colleges have been awarded a $15 million grant to expand opportunities for Montanans to gain skills and credentials for high-paying jobs in the healthcare industry across the state.

“A strong economy requires a talented and trained workforce, with the skills to fill the jobs that are most in demand, and this is especially true in Montana’s growing healthcare industry” Governor Steve Bullock said of the grant. “This grant will facilitate innovative private-public partnerships to ensure our two-year and community colleges, universities, and tribal colleges together with our State workforce systems are responsive to the needs of healthcare employers as well as job seekers looking for opportunities in their local communities.  The grant will be a critical component of Pillar I of Main Street Montana (Train and Education Tomorrow’s Workforce Today).”

The grant has four primary objectives:

·         Create statewide healthcare pathways to simplify the process for earning a career certificate or degree in the healthcare industry
·         Systematically address Montana’s nursing shortages and provide accelerated pathways to completion of nursing programs
·         Increase student success by providing services that better prepare adult students for success in the curriculum, accelerate credential completion, coach students in education pathway navigation, and provide access to distance education
·         Engage the healthcare industry, education, workforce programs, and other stakeholders to improve workforce development strategies by improving on-the-job training and apprenticeship opportunities

Key population groups to be targeted by the Montana HealthCARE grant include long-term unemployed, veterans, and new ways to reach adult learners. The grant will also create healthcare Apprenticeship and Training programs for the first time in Montana and develop an integrated system for healthcare workforce planning.

Funds will also be distributed to local campuses as follows:

Bitterroot College UM
158,789.00
Blackfeet Community College
637,940.00
City College MSUB
637,940.00
Chief Dull Knife College
158,789.00
Flathead Valley Community College
638,940.00
Gallatin College MSU
158,789.00
Great Falls College MSU
637,940.00
Helena College UM
637,940.00
Miles Community College
637,940.00
Missoula College UM
7,934,206.00
MSU Northern
637,940.00
Highlands College MT Tech
637,940.00
UM Western
145,132.00
Salish Kootenai College
386,882.00
Stone Child College
158,789.00
US DOL Required Grant Evaluation
782,691.00
Total
14,988,587.00