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Alaska to Receive $1.6 million to Expand Primary Care Workforce

Money for Alaskans to get job training in health care field

The opportunity for low-income Alaskans to learn job skills in a number of health care fields will be enhanced with grants coming to Alaska from the Department of Health and Human Services under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today joined HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in announcing a grant of $1.46 million for Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) and an additional $150,000 to the State of Alaska, Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Employment Security Division.

"This is an excellent opportunity to put Alaskans to work and strengthen our health care workforce," Begich said. "We know one of the keys to improving health care delivery for all Alaskans is beefing up the workforce. These dollars will be put to good use by CITC, giving people the chance to improve their job skills and in return improve their earning power."

The Health Profession Opportunity Grants announced today will provide 32 grants to entities in 23 states, including the nearly $1.5 million in Alaska. The grants will provide low-income individuals with successful training programs in variety of health care fields including home care aides, certified nursing assistants, medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, dental assistants and more. Grantees will also provide additional support services such as transportation, dependent care and temporary housing.

The $150,000 going to the State of Alaska falls under the Personal and Home Care Aide State Training program. The program is a demonstration project supporting states in developing and evaluating a competency-based curriculum to train qualified personal and home care aides. Personal and home care aids are projected to be the fourth fastest growing direction care occupation in the U.S. between 2008 and 2018.

A complete list of Health Profession Opportunity Grants by state is available at http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/09d/state_charts.html.

A complete list of Prevention and Public Health Fund workforce grant award tables by state is available at http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/09b/state_charts.html.

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