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OTC Awarded Grant for Allied Health Programs

Students enrolled in Okefenokee Technical College allied health programs since July 2010 and individuals interested in health care careers now have the opportunity to receive extra support in their academic endeavors.

As one of three colleges named recipients of a $3.4 million US Department of Labor - Community Based Job Training grant, OTC has helped implement the Regional Education and Careers in Healthcare, or REACH  Project. The focus of the REACH Project is to recruit, train and place individuals who are unemployed or underemployed in health care sector employment. The REACH Project, one of the largest ever awarded to a technical college, is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is intended to create jobs and promote economic growth. 

REACH Project Technical College System of Georgia partners include Okefenokee Technical College, Southwest Georgia Technical College, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.  These colleges will service individuals across the South Georgia region and will develop their annual plan of work through a consortium consisting of a number of health care industries, allied health professions, public and private employers, Workforce Investment Boards, and the Department of Labor.

“Our goal is to help individuals achieve academic success leading to good-paying jobs in high demand health care fields,” said Judy Hesters, REACH Project director. “In order to accomplish this, the REACH Project offers a number of academic and financial support resources.”

The REACH Project targets 20 counties in southern Georgia. More than 79 health care industries including hospitals, home health agencies, nursing and assisted living facilities are located within these counties. Health care industry jobs included in the grant are certified nursing aides, medical assistants, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, pharmacy technicians, radiology technicians, and paramedics.

The REACH Project offers support services and tutoring for students enrolled in allied health programs, as well as life skills training to help students improve their study skills, test taking strategies, etc. A basic introduction to computers class is also offered, which will be beneficial to anyone with little computer experience or those who are reentering the workforce after an extended absence.

A fast track academic support program was developed by the office of learning support as an academic refresher. Students will have the opportunity to improve their skills in reading and processing information, math, and self-directed study. Tutoring labs specifically for allied health students will be available on each college campus.

Financial resources are also available on a limited basis. These funds may be used to assist with the cost of books, testing fees, and supplies such as stethoscopes, shoes, and uniforms. The grant has also allowed OTC to purchase up-to-date equipment and technology used in health care training.
For more information on the REACH Project contact Debbie Sokoloff, REACH Grant Allied Health Tutor, at (912) 285-6295 or dsokoloff@okefenokeetech.edu.

 

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