January 27, 2021
For Immediate Release: January 27, 2021
Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc. Awarded $2.5 Million Rural Healthcare Workforce Grant
AUGUSTA - Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc., of Brunswick, has been awarded a $2.5 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to create a rural health training program in Cumberland, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Waldo, and York Counties.
The grant is part of approximately $40 million in H-1B Rural Healthcare Grant Program funds U.S. DOL awarded to partnerships of public and private entities to address rural healthcare workforce shortages in communities across the country.
"The Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc. (CCWI) team is thrilled to have been awarded this grant for the Coastal Counties workforce region of Maine. With continued funding decreases at a time when rural healthcare workforce shortages in our communities are profound, this funding is of tremendous value to the region," Antoinette Mancusi, Executive Director of Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc., said. We are grateful to the many partners that helped make this possible.
CCWI will work with grant partners; Workforce Solutions (operated by Goodwill of Northern New England) its service provider, the Maine Department of Labor, Maine Department of Health and Human Services, the Community College System and Adult Education System, in addition to employers CVS Pharmacy, MaineHealth, and Northern Light Health to deploy the grant initiative.
Building Maine's skilled healthcare workforce in our rural communities has always been a priority, but it is especially critical now as our state continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman said. Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc.s success in securing $2.5 million in grant funds will be a tremendous boost in the development of Maines rural health care workers for essential nursing and pharmacy jobs. We are excited to partner with CCWI and others in the state workforce system on this initiative.
The aim of this funding is to increase the number of individuals training in healthcare occupations that directly impact patient care and alleviate healthcare workforce shortages by creating sustainable employment and training programs in healthcare occupations (including behavioral and mental healthcare) serving rural populations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the value of and need for health care workers across Maine and especially in rural areas, Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said. The Department of Health and Human Services stands ready to work with this new partnership as part of our overall initiative to expand and advance the health care workforce in the state.
Coastal Counties Workforces Maine Rural Healthcare Partnership will operate in conjunction with MaineHealth, Northern Light Health, the Maine Community College and Adult Education Systems, and CVS Pharmacy in Portland, Westbrook, South Portland, Brunswick, Bath, Belfast, and Saco to train rural workers in nursing and pharmacy careers. This grant will help with strategies such as apprenticeships, on-the-job training, accelerated learning, and online learning.
The H-1B Rural Healthcare Grant Program provided 17 awards across the nation ranging from $1.2 million to $2.5 million.
Grant recipients included employers in the healthcare sector; nonprofit healthcare organizations affiliated with hospitals and other medical facilities; healthcare industry and/or occupation associations; organizations designated as Primary Care Associations by the Health Resources & Services Administration; Workforce Innovation and Opportunity State or Local Workforce Development Boards and federally recognized Indian/Native American Tribal Governments; and Native American Program entities eligible for funding under Section 166 of WIOA (29 U.S.C. 3221).
The U.S. Department of Labors press release can be found here - https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/eta/eta20210114-0 .