NH DHHS - NH Receives $2.3 Million Grant For Workforce Development in Healthcare Field

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of Minority Health (OMH) is receiving a $2,380,059 grant to fund the NH Health Profession Opportunity Project (NH HPOP). The grant will provide low-income individuals with opportunities for education and training in a variety of occupations in the health care field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand. Some examples include: medical assistants, home health care aides, licensed nursing assistants, emergency medical technicians, dietitians, licensed vocational nurses, registered nurses, dental assistants and hygienists, physical and occupational therapists, medical coders, radiographers, respiratory therapists, medical interpreters, and health information technicians.

“This grant is an opportunity for our State to train adults who are currently unemployed or in low-paying jobs,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “The healthcare industry is one of New Hampshire’s most stable employment fields and statistics indicate continued growth in health occupations over the next decade. Despite the current jobs available and the projected growth, our State is experiencing a healthcare workforce shortage. These funds will help workers invest in themselves while helping the State build this valuable workforce.”

DHHS’ OMH is leading the NH HPOP, which is a five-year initiative. Over the 5-year period a minimum of 800 low-income adults and 200 incumbent workers will be educated in the areas of Allied Health, Long-term Care, Child Care Health Advocacy, Health Information Technology, and Nursing. At least 25% of all participants trained will be racial, ethnic and linguistic minorities, who are disproportionately underrepresented in the NH higher education and health workforce systems.

“As we build a more skilled and diverse healthcare workforce, the quality of medical care will improve for all populations, including racial, ethnic and linguistic minorities,” said OMH Director Dr. Trinidad Tellez. “This funding opportunity will assure the future economic success of the individuals we train, and contribute to more prosperous and healthier communities across NH.”

OMH has partnered with DHHS’ Division of Family Assistance (DFA), the Department of Labor, and the Office of Workforce Opportunity in the project design, and will count on these and other partners to implement the program.

The objectives include:
· Training individuals enrolled in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program as well as other low-income individuals in high-demand health professions;
· Connecting the workforce needs of healthcare employers with an expanding labor pool of skilled workers;
· Enhancing the infrastructure of training programs Statewide to recruit and retain minority students

The funding is being made available through the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Funds are available through SFY 2011. An additional $9,617,006 may be available through SFY 2015.