Whitley City, KY. – Congressman Hal Rogers joined local leaders at the Somerset Community College – McCreary Center in Whitley City on Friday morning to celebrate a new program that will soon educate and train local nurses and EMS-paramedics in southern Kentucky and several neighboring counties in Tennessee.
The Workforce Development and Re-employment Opportunities project was recently awarded a POWER Grant totaling more than $1.5 million from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to expand and enhance skills training opportunities in multiple high-demand fields in Kentucky and Tennessee. Thanks to a partnership between the Somerset Community College and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology, a portion of the funding will be used to establish nursing programs at the McCreary Center and EKU Manchester Campus, as well as EMS-paramedic programs at Somerset Community College and its Laurel County campus.
“This weekend, Kentucky and Tennessee will face off as staunch college football rivals, but today, we are all on the same team and we are working toward one common goal – improving healthcare and addressing a chronic shortage of medical providers in our region,” said Congressman Rogers, who has been a long-time advocate for ARC funding. “Local students interested in the medical field will now have the opportunity to pursue an education and proper training right here at home. I applaud Dr. Carey Castle, President/CEO of Somerset Community College and Mr. Dwight Murphy, President of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology, for forging this critical partnership that will open new doors of opportunity for our students.”
“This project will help improve the lives of people in Southeast Kentucky through healthcare education and training. It will provide a critically needed skill set so people can get a high wage job and will also provide more health care workers needed in this region,” said Dr. Castle.
“It backs up to the high school level and puts equipment in several of our schools. For the first time, our students will have a pathway for these careers and access to in-state tuition across our state boundaries,” said Mr. Murphy.
The new programs are projected to be available next fall. Prospective students can get more information by visiting somerset.kctcs.edu.