Schenectady County Community College Chosen for Nationwide Grant to Expand Health Care Training

Schenectady County Community College Chosen for Nationwide Grant to Expand Health Care Training

For Immediate Release: Oct. 9, 2014                                    

Contact: Darren Johnson, c. (518) 728-4474

Schenectady County Community College Chosen for Nationwide Grant to Expand Health Care Training

SCCC to Offer First Community Health Worker Training in College Setting
in the Capital Region

Schenectady County Community College was one of only 13 organizations from across the country selected to receive a sizeable health careers grant. This will allow the College to begin offering an innovative Community Health Worker training initiative, the only one of its kind in the Capital Region, and expand on current health care training programs.

The Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP), Skills Training and Health Workforce Development grant, provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, totals $200,000. Through this funding, SCCC will continue to serve as a leader in health care education in the Capital Region, building upon the success of its current programs in Allied Health Care Training (AHCT).

“Schenectady County Community College has become a regional leader in health care training, and this generous HCOP grant recognizes our success in getting results for our students and local providers,” said Dr. Martha Asselin, SCCC Acting President. “This program will build upon our existing health professions training infrastructure, and allow us to offer a new program and new career opportunities for more students.”

“Investing in workforce development programs is critical as we address the changing needs of our health care system,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “This funding for Schenectady County Community College is a great investment for the region. I am pleased the college will be able to support training for additional Home Health Aides and a new curriculum to train Community Health Workers who will be prepared to serve our communities in addressing their health care needs.”

Through the HCOP grant, SCCC will offer three training components, expanding health care education at the College, and serving more than 100 students annually. The new Community Health Worker training will open the door to individuals who want to do more than direct care, teaching them to be liaisons between patients with chronic illnesses and hospitals and local departments of health. The goal of the training is to have a group of Community Health Workers play a major role in assisting patients and educating them on ways to manage illnesses at home, thereby reducing the number of emergency room visits and shortening hospital stays.

“As sponsor of the Community College, Schenectady County believes in the transformational power of education and how important it is to prepare our students for the jobs of the future,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “This grant will help our college meet the needs of our students by preparing them for real careers in the growing healthcare industry.”

The College will also expand its Home Health Aide training to include working with pre-Hospice patients and those with traumatic brain injuries. Additionally, SCCC will continue to work in conjunction with the Schenectady City Mission and Schenectady Works, and in partnership with two home-care based organizations, Visiting Nurses of Northeastern New York and Home Instead, both in Schenectady, to provide transportation for Home Health Aides who lack vehicles.

Through the new HCOP grant, SCCC will build upon the success of the Home Health Aide (HHA), Personal Care Aide (PCA) and Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) certification programs that are part of an $11.4 million Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) the College received in 2010 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families. As of June 2014, 72 percent of those students who participated in the program, designed for low-income individuals and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) recipients, were employed in the health care field. SCCC will continue to partner with the Schenectady Community Action Program and Albany Community Action Partnership on the new HCOP grant, as well as continuing the collaboration developed under the HPOG initiative.

The HCOP funding shines a light on the need for trained health care workers not only in the Capital Region, but nationally. According to the Center for Health Workforce Studies, by 2020 there will be 300,000 additional jobs in health care and social assistance in New York, the largest net increase of all industry sectors. In addition, studies continue to show that Community Health Workers have improved health outcomes for low-income individuals with chronic conditions including asthma, hypertension, diabetes and mental illness.

“The need for well-prepared community health workers is a growing one as health care providers continue to work to help patients better manage their illnesses and avoid unnecessary emergency room visits,” said James W. Connolly, President and CEO of Ellis Medicine, which is a potential employer for Community Health Workers. “We congratulate SCCC on the receipt of this grant and are confident that the result will have a positive impact on the health of our community.”

About Schenectady County Community College: One of the 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, the nation’s largest comprehensive system of higher education, Schenectady County Community College (SCCC) in upstate New York enrolls more than 7,000 students. SCCC offers more than 45 career degree, transfer degree and certificate programs. The College opened its doors for classes in 1969 and continues to provide affordable comprehensive higher education and adult educational opportunities in response to local educational needs. To learn more, visit

This activity has been funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration through Schenectady County Community College (Grant Number G06HP27890-01-00). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS.