Holyoke Community College has been awarded a $127,741 Workforce Skills Capital Grant to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for its EMT Training Program.
The grant, announced this week by the governor's office, will allow HCC to expand the number of students served in its non-credit emergency medical technician classes and offer improved training equipment and materials at the college's new Center for Health Education, adjacent to the main campus on Jarvis Avenue.
HCC was one of seven community colleges, vocational high schools and educational collaboratives chosen to share in a total funding package worth $2.6 million.
"This was a great opportunity for us to get some needed funding to replace outdated materials and equipment, which, because of the cost, is difficult to keep up to date," said Ken White, dean of HCC Community Services.
The grant will allow HCC to expand the number of students served in the noncredit certificate EMT classes, which are geared for firefighters and other emergency workers who need certification or continuing education; individuals interested in beginning careers as EMTs; and nurses or other heath professionals.
"Students at all levels will have access to state-of-the-art technologies, including simulators that respond to student actions," White said.
Instructors for the enhanced program will be supplied by Springfield Technical Community College, White said. Together, HCC and STCC, through Training and Workforce Options, their collaborative workforce program, will work with area employers to provide customized EMT training opportunies at HCC's Center for Health Education.
"The goal of these grants is to expand the capacity of programs that build skills for Massachusetts residents," said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. "We already see the impact these grants are having at educational programs around the state, and we know these investments will strengthen the state's economy for all residents."
PHOTOS: (Left) The enhanced EMT classes will be held at HCC's new Center for Health Education on Jarvis Avenue, adjacent to the main campus. (Right) EMTs escort a patient on a stretcher.