The LFCC Educational Foundation has received a $144,000 grant from the Fairfax, Virginia-based Claude Moore Charitable Foundation (CMCF). With this funding, LFCC will:
• Work with Rappahannock County schools to initiate a certified nursing assistant program (CNA). Rappahannock is the only county in LFCC’s service region that lacks a CNA program.
• Partner with Shenandoah County schools to start a career studies certificate program in medical office administration. Once they earn this certificate, Shenandoah County students may choose to go right into the healthcare workforce, or continue at LFCC and pursue a certificate in medical administration assistant, a certificate in medical billing and coding, or an associate degree in health information management.
• Create a program for high school students who have already received certification as a CNA to go on to earn a healthcare technician career studies certificate as a medication aide.
LFCC leads the College and Career Pathways Consortium, which includes the directors of career and technical education (CTE) in each school division served by LFCC. Many of these CTE directors have asked for a pathway for high school juniors who have earned their CNA certification to be able to earn additional healthcare credentials during their senior year.
There is an immediate and growing need for a skilled workforce in the healthcare sector. Between now and 2022, healthcare support jobs are expected to grow by 33 percent, as Baby Boomers continue to retire.
The Claude Moore Charitable Foundation’s funding strategy has emerged as a model to “pipeline” qualified high school students into the healthcare sector. Upon graduation, students will have the necessary credentials to enter the workforce immediately, or to continue their studies at the local community college.
The effectiveness of CMCF’s model is its regional focus, involving a partnership with the K-12 system, the local community college and a healthcare organization.
Brenda Byard is LFCC’s dean of academic student affairs and outreach, and serves on the consortium
“This generous grant will have a ripple effect in our community,” she said. “Our students will benefit by being able to access high-quality, affordable education and training for in-demand, well-paying jobs, which will in turn help the regional economy. Additionally, it will ensure a strong healthcare workforce is in place to properly care for everyone in our community, not least of which is our ever-increasing aging population.”
This is the second grant that the LFCC Educational Foundation has received from CMCF. In 2016, LFCC received $200,000 to start a medical laboratory technician program. The college also worked with Page and Frederick counties to enhance their allied health program offerings and increase the availability of courses such as Anatomy & Physiology, which is a pre-requisite for most of LFCC’s health professions programs.