The County College of Morris (CCM) has launched the Northern New Jersey Health Profession Pathways to provide qualified low-income individuals with free educational opportunities and support services in one of several health professions educational programs.
The program, supported with a $1.3 million grant from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, offers free enrollment in eight healthcare fields: Certified Home Health Aide, Certified Nursing Assistant, Medical Billing and Coding, Certified Electronic Health Record Systems Technologist, Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, Phlebotomy Technician, EKG Technician, and Pharmacy Technician. Eligible students will be enrolled in courses offered by the Continuing Education division of the college. Depending on the program, classes are offered either on the CCM Randolph campus, the college’s location in Morristown or through the Morris County School of Technology in Denville.
The pathways program is open to individuals who are recipients of either Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or General Assistance, or whose annual income falls within 125 – 185 percent of the poverty guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Those guidelines run from $13,612.50 to $20,146.50 for an individual, and $27,937.50 to $41,347.50 for a family of four. Additional guidelines also have been established for larger families.
“The pathways program is designed as a comprehensive career-ladder opportunity for individuals who are struggling in this economy to take advantage of strong job growth areas in the world of healthcare,” explained Dr. Jane Armstrong, dean of Corporate Education, Community Programs and Academic Initiatives at CCM.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare will generate 3.2 million new jobs between 2008 and 2018, more than any other industry, largely in response to rapid growth in the elderly population and longer life expectancies. In addition, projected retirements for current healthcare workers will necessitate a pipeline of skilled individuals ready to enter healthcare occupations.