CINCINNATI — Cincinnati State Technical and Community College was awarded a grant for $25,000 on Monday to help fight the growing worker shortage plaguing the nation and the local community.
The grant was presented to the college by the Association of Ohio Commodores Fund. According to the school’s president, Monica Posey, the money will support the college’s Workforce Focus Fund, which addresses important and timely workforce needs, particularly in cases when other funds are not available.
“We're now working to develop a nursing degree, a bachelor's degree in nursing to address the need,” said Posey. “We're creating new apprenticeship programs specializing right now in medical assisting for launching more high school partnerships so high school students can get advanced education.”
Nursing is just one of the industries currently struggling to keep workers. Casey Howard, a nursing student at Cincinnati State, works in an emergency room as a technician full time overnight while working toward becoming a nurse.
“Patients are sick, we're understaffed, we're underpaid. It's exhausting, but it's rewarding,” she said. “You know, when you get the opportunity to actually help someone and make them feel better on their worst day, it's pretty amazing.”
Howard is like many of the students in the nursing program, non-traditional, juggling parenthood, education and work.
“Nursing is very rigorous,” said Janice Lockett, the nursing program chair. “We try to encourage our students to save up, put away some money. And we also have scholarships that come in and when they come in, we encourage our students to apply for them so that they don't have to work so many hours.”
Lockett hopes the grant money will funnel its way to students in the form of scholarships. In a press release, the school outlined how the money will be spent:
"The Workforce Focus Fund is used to pay for scholarships for students, updated equipment and facilities, developing new training programs, and outreach to junior and senior high school students who are our future workforce."
The Association of Ohio Commodores awarded grants totaling $80,000 in this first round to support training, professional development and other community activities that create and develop a strong Ohio workforce.