Wednesday, November 3, 2004

$545,000 grant to bolster Ky. health-care work force

By William Croyle
Enquirer staff writer

FLORENCE - A $545,000 grant from Gov. Ernie Fletcher will help about 100 people in this area get health-care jobs.

The two-year grant from Governor's Discretionary Money was awarded last week to the Workforce Investment Area of the Northern Kentucky Area Development District.

The money will be used to create a pilot program that will offer job shadowing, training and placement for people in eight counties - Boone, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen and Pendleton.

Those eligible are people aged 16 to 21, other adults with no marketable skills and health-care workers who have been laid off.

The development district specifically chose the health-care industry for the program this year, but hopes to expand it in future years to other job clusters.

"We found there's a tremendous need for health-care workers," said Tonia Slone, youth specialist with the development district. "Hospitals and nursing homes are saying they can't find enough people."

According to statistics released in June by the Greater Cincinnati Health Council, an average of 10 percent of the nursing positions available at 12 area hospitals are unfilled.

Two case managers will be hired for the program. Candidates will spend time with various health-care workers to see what jobs they like. They will then receive training through a partnership with the Greater Cincinnati Health Council, Gateway Community and Technical College and Jefferson Community College. Training is expected to begin in January.

For more information, call (859) 283-1885.


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