763 Workers Will Get New Skills for Healthcare Careers at MemorialCare

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$2.8 Million Federal Grant

Mayor Bob Foster congratulates the first graduates of the training program funded by $2.8 million federal grant

Pacific Gateway, the region’s workforce development agency, has been awarded $2,816,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor to upgrade skills, certifications and training needs in the healthcare sector. This important project was developed through a public-private partnership with Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach and Community Hospital Long Beach, which are part of the MemorialCare Health System.

The grant, made nationally through the H-1B Visa Skills Training Grant Program, will provide customized training to unemployed job seekers for 363 new positions within Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children’s, Community Hospital Long Beach, the MemorialCare Health System and other healthcare sites. An additional 400 MemorialCare employees will receive updated training and certifications to help them advance in their career pathways.

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These new graduates have the skills they need to compete in for technical jobs in the healthcare industry.

“This federal grant is huge for more than 700 people who will now be fully employed or will add additional training to advance their careers,” said Mayor Bob Foster. “In addition, it will strengthen the local economy while supporting local businesses and their employees. I want to thank Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach and Community Hospital Long Beach for their partnership to help bring this grant to our city.”

“We are so pleased with the announcement. Pacific Gateway has been an integral partner in helping identify and educate our nurses and allied healthcare positions,” says Diana Hendel, CEO, Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children’s and Community Hospital Long Beach. “We look forward to our continued success together. This partnership has contributed not only to the services we can provide but also to keeping up employment in our community.”

Employment opportunities include patient care assistants, surgical sterilization technicians, clinical lab scientists, phlebotomists and other positions. Many of the jobs created during the four-year grant period will be new occupations, developed in response to upcoming changes in healthcare law. Joint investment from MemorialCare will help Long Beach City College and Los Angeles Harbor College develop new patient care and medical billing training designed to both maintain Long Beach Memorial’s, Miller Children’s and Community Hospital Long Beach’s award-winning level of care and bring about operational efficiencies. These innovative practices will be studied for possible replication at other hospitals.

Participants in the program also will have access to personalized academic counseling to help them continue their community college education to earn additional certifications or work toward degrees in healthcare. The first cohort of 10 participants began on November 7, 2011. The project builds upon a longtime collaboration between Pacific Gateway, the region’s workforce development agency, and Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children’s, Community Hospital Long Beach and the MemorialCare Health System as a whole.

“This will be incredibly transformational for our customers,” said Larry Rice, a Board Member representing the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Board. “These are good jobs with an employer that has made a significant investment in their futures, and in the future of the region.”

The grant is funded through the U.S. Department of Labor to address the U.S. H-1B Visa program, which raises the technical skills of American workers in occupations and industries that have seen shortages of skilled workers.

Individuals interested in these job opportunities are encouraged to begin by visiting one of Pacific Gateway’s three Career Centers: Long Beach (3447 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, 90807), San Pedro (1851 N. Gaffey St., Suite F, San Pedro, 90731), and Torrance (1220 Engracia Ave., Torrance, 90501) or by calling (562) 570-WORK.

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