A medical assistant student uses a stethoscope as she takes a woman's blood pressure.

GRCC receives grant to expand health career opportunities for minorities

GRCC will use a $50,000 grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to create more health care career opportunities for minorities.

West Michigan health care employers have struggled to fill positions, and the grant will fund programs that will expand the potential employee pool, said Julie Parks, GRCC’s executive director of Workforce Training.

“The goal is to work with industry partners to increase opportunities for minority community members to enter health care careers and advance from entry-level positions to middle-skill or higher-level healthcare jobs,” she said.

The grant will fund a 10-day Health Care Scrubs Camp for Grand Rapids Public Schools students. High school juniors and seniors will learn in GRCC simulation labs, work in a decontamination unit at St. Mary’s Hospital, participate in a culinary medicine workshop at the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, and take part in a disaster drill. They will also tour area medical facilities, hear from minority leaders in health care fields and work with career coaches/navigators.

GRCC will also conduct community outreach sessions with neighborhood and nonprofit groups to connect unemployed or underemployed adults with information about health care career opportunities.

West Michigan health care employers and nonprofit organizations working with GRCC include:

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